Today’s Duran Duran history takes us back just two short years ago to 2012 when Duran Duran played in Munich at the Tonhalle. According to DuranDuranMusic, the setlist was as follows:
BEFORE THE RAIN
A VIEW TO A KILL
ALL YOU NEED IS NOW
HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF
GIRLS ON FILM
I found a very cool video of the introductions that night! Watch and enjoy!
Daily Duranie welcomes new opinions and we wish to give all fans a voice. Today we feature a brand new guest blogger to Daily Duranie. Enjoy!!
By Jason Lent
Understanding the impact of Duran Duran is near impossible if you did not experience it firsthand. They were pioneers of the New Romantic movement (which pulled its artistic aspirations from the likes of David Bowie and Roxy Music) and almost singlehandedly turned the music video into art. As a young kid discovering music, it was hard not to be lured into a world of exotic locations and mostly naked models set to exciting synth pop music.
Over the last thirty years, I’ve taken my share of jokes for sticking by Duran Duran through their musical highs and lows and I understand that the band will always be divisive amongst serious music fans. However, there is more depth and substance to their career than the majority of what passes for popular music in 2014. With that in mind, I dusted off every studio Duran Duran album they’ve recorded and ranked them from the most essential to the, um, best forgotten. I decided to skip the live album Arena (it’s a pleasant reminder of an epic tour but offers little to listeners) and the covers album Thank You which was disappointing but not quite as bad as most remember.
The point at which New Romantic music crossed into the mainstream and simultaneously established the fledgling MTV as a creative outlet that would shape the future of music. The impact of videos such as “Rio” and “Hungry Like The Wolf” are so culturally significant that the music gets slightly overlooked, which is criminal. As a band, Duran Duran hit on all cylinders throughout the record with John Taylor’s exquisite bass lines serving as the glue that holds the synths and electric guitar together to form one of the finest records of the decade. The album artwork also captured the decade perfectly adding to the overall aesthetic of a young band rising to the top of the world to define a generation. Quite simply, there are no weak songs on Rio making it the band’s preeminent album. At the time, “Hold Back the Rain” was just a kick-ass pop-rock tune but it takes on more meaning now knowing it was Simon’s plea to John to get control of his substance abuse, something that wouldn’t happen for another decade. The ballad “Save A Prayer” will always be the band’s most delicate moment while “The Chauffeur” closes the album on an artistic road that kept the band’s pop success balanced with their more artistic interests. This Duran Duran album is essential to any music collection.
Duran Duran (1981)
The perfect example of the New Romantic movement in music, Duran Duran’s debut sounded fresh and exciting even before the artfully conceived videos took the band to larger audiences. While “Planet Earth” and “Girls On Film” remain some of the band’s most notable songs, the album has a whole captures the essence of Duran Duran. The second side of this Duran Duran album edged into darker, moodier territory that revealed a depth to the music that critics have often overlooked. The opening two minutes of “Night Boat” strike a sinister mood while “Friends Of Mine” and “Careless Memories” are spirited punk songs filtered through the New Romantic prism. When released as the second single, “Careless Memories” faired poorly and the accompanying video remains one of the few misfires in the band’s catalogue. Listening now, that song was far from disappointing and, like the rest of the record, has aged quite well. When the album was re-released in 1983, the hit single “Is There Something I Should Know?” replaced “To The Shore” which made sense for the band and record company though it doesn’t fit the flow of the album.
All You Need Is Now (2010)
How do you make a Duran Duran album that almost matches the greatness of the band’s early work? You dust off the old instruments and allow the talented Mark Ronson to guide the recording process. From the title single on, the band recreates the magic of their first three records while updating it for 2010. The hook of “All You Need Is Now” recalls the sway of “New Moon Monday” and there are plenty of other sonic touchstones that harken back to the biggest days of Duran. The opening synth of “The Man Who Stole The Leopard” recall the band’s instrumental track “Tel Aviv” from their debut album while the opening drums of “Girl Panic” are “Girls On Film” redux. Who gives a shit?! It’s shimmering pop-rock beauty that the band once did better than anyone on planet earth.
Three years is a long time in music. For Duran Duran, it meant one live album (Arena), a troubled live performance at Live Aid, and a breakdown in the line-up. “Who gives a damn for a flaky bandit” sang Simon Le Bon in the title track letting the world know how the remaining members viewed departed guitarist Andy Taylor. The album was a departure for the band as the age gap between them and their fans was suddenly felt in the music. For a thirteen year old, Nile Rodgers was just a name the band occasionally dropped as an influence. With little understanding of Chic and the other bands that shaped the band’s style, Notorious felt like a sudden shift away from the new wave glory of MTV that they did better than others. Over time, this Duran Duran album has matured well and reveals a talented group of musicians finding space to write smarter songs. The title track and “Skin Trade” are two of their tightest singles and the feisty “Meet El Presidente” finds a new groove for the Duran sound. The album’s strength lies in the quality of the songs throughout. “Vertigo (Do The Demolition)” and “American Science” are stylish pop tracks that hold their own with the singles. Closer “Proposition” (placed at the opposite end from the title track that takes a dig at him) gives us a final taste of the band with Andy Taylor (at least for a few decades) and it’s clear that the band’s sound needs his razor edge on guitar to compliment the synth explorations of Nick Rhodes. An album that has held up very well in the Duran Duran story.
Big Thing (1988)
To this day, I’m not sure why this Duran Duran album was such a disconnect for audiences. The singles didn’t make a lasting impact on the charts and the tour (at least at the Miami Arena, my first concert, finally!) played to less than full venues. After Notorious, I thought this was a bold step forward as the band pushed the music into new territory. “All She Wants Is” incorporates house music into the Duran sound to create a hypnotic tone and the accompanying video was one of the last great reasons to watch MTV. One of the band’s best ballads to this day, “Do You Believe In Shame?” opens a second half of the album which slides away from the dance floor towards the art house. The razor-sharp guitar the closes out “Lake Shore Driving” is the sort of six string showcase Andy Taylor would have eaten up had he not become a disillusioned guitar hero and left for a disappointing solo career (yes, I own Thunder on vinyl and yes, I’m still disappointed). Why the b-side “I Believe/All I Need To Know” failed to make Big Thing while the dreadful “Drug (It’s Just A State Of Mind)” secured a spot mystifies me. Swapping those tracks would move this further up my list.
Seven And the Ragged Tiger (1983)
A complicated album from inception to completion, Seven is a difficult album for me to view through a lens not colored by nostalgia. After the monumental Rio, the band could do know wrong in my eyes and this record held my fascination. The lead single “The Reflex” needed a snappy remix to really bring it alive (“Whyyy-y-y-y-y-y-y-y-y- -don’t you use it”) and the live video helped showcase a slightly disappointing hit single. “Union Of the Snake” remains my favorite moment on the album. Andy adds some excellent guitar to the synth melody, the kind of small touch that future records would often be missing. While all quite fine, the non-singles tend to run together in my brain. “I Take The Dice” and “Shadows On Your Side” are interchangeable Duran songs. Heavily produced and sometimes sounding like a challenge to write, the success of this Duran Duran album resided more on the band’s name at that point in music.
Duran Duran – The Wedding Album (1993)
I remember exactly where I was when I first heard “Ordinary World” on the radio. I was returning from my girlfriend’s house and passing over Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach, FL. I pulled over after crossing the railroad tracks knowing Duran Duran was about to return to the charts. The song sat perfectly on the radio and remains a classic pop song. However, it’s not one of the better Duran Duran songs. It could have been recorded by just about any pop rock band at the time and lacked the unique Duran alchemy. “Come Undone” felt more like a classic Duran single and sounds beautiful with a slippery bass line and sexy rhythm. Opener “Too Much Information” still holds up as one of their better rock songs though the line “a cola manufacturer is sponsoring the war” feels a little uncomfortable coming from a band that Coca Cola sponsored in the 1980’s. The rest of this Duran Duran album falters and suffers from an indistinctive sameness. The disappointing Lou Reed cover (“Femme Fatale”) serves as a harbinger of the Thank You album that would follow. In the end, a stylish Duran Duran album with three excellent singles is hardly a disappointing trip.
With the dismal performance of Pop Trash and no record label, it was a widely held assumption that Duran Duran were finished. The reunion nobody saw coming became reality (I figured Roger Taylor had retired from music forever and Andy always seemed like a loose cannon who resented his role in the band). To their credit, the band went into the studio instead of just filling arenas with the same reunion tour for a few summers. Opening track “(Reach Up For) The Sunrise” is a powerful reminder that, at its core, the rhythm section of Roger and John Taylor anchors Duran Duran. A driving chorus with Andy’s guitar jostling with Nick’s synths is Duran at their best. On the whole, the album proves a successful reunion of the Fab Five. “Nice” sounds like an updated Duran Duran, which is better than the slightly misguided band of the late 1990’s. This Duran Duran album suffers on the production side with just too much happening at once. It gives the record a cluttered atmosphere that they would sort out on their most recent work. At the time, any Duran Duran album from the original line-up would have been welcome but this album has aged well and remains sneaky good.
By 1997, Duran Duran had crumbled as the creative entity that launched so many memorable albums. After the hugely disappointing Thank You record, the band was down to Nick and Simon with guitarist Warren Cucurrullo. Nick and Warren were the creative force giving this and it’s follow-up, Pop Trash, a unique place within the Duran canon. “Out Of Mind” completed Simon’s trilogy for a lost friend (“Ordinary World” and “Do You Believe In Shame” were the others) and sounded like an extension of earlier albums. However, the rest of the music moves into electronic dance sounds that felt alien to where Duran Duran started as a live unit. On a whole, Cucurrullo’s contributions to Duran Duran are difficult to assess. A gifted guitarist, it feels like he pushed the band into creative areas they might have been best to not explore. With the release of him and Nick’s side project TV Mania in 2013, some of this experimentation does make a bit more sense but Medazzaland is lacking in memorable moments.
Pop Trash (2000)
Album opener “Someone Else Not Me” hints at a return to form for Duran Duran but it was the only song written by Simon Le Bon for the album and it shows. With Warren Cuccurullo and Nick Rhodes in creative control of the music, this Duran Duran album feels like more of Medazzaland with a few less highlights. “Last Day On Earth” (written but rejected for a Bond film) gives the album a little more muscle and overall, the album does have a little more guitar pop than the more electronic Medazzaland. The acoustic driven “Starting To Remember” shows promise and is one of the better songs written during this period for the band but ultimately gets lost in a record of uninspired songs. At the end of the road with the record label, this was the first album I didn’t immediately buy from Duran Duran and I assumed (again, like I did after Liberty) that Duran Duran were at their creative end.
Red Carpet Massacre (2007)
The momentum of Astronaut may have corrupted the direction of the band when they returned to the studio. The original five worked on an album titled Reportage, which eventually reached the record label only to be rejected until the band recorded an obvious lead single. In their search for that single, the band began working with Timbaland and Justin Timberlake minus Andy Taylor, who would not return. The result is a trend-chasing Duran Duran album of club music that simply doesn’t work. The drums are heavily processed and the band’s more rocking edges are smoothed over until they are gone. Without hearing Reportage, it’s still safe to say the band would have fared better with their original plans. For a Duran Duran album trying to be dark and sexy, the album sounds embarrassingly bland.
After Big Thing, I had high hopes for the slimmed down version of Duran Duran to remain relevant in popular music. Liberty seriously hampered my belief. For the first time, it sounded like the band was chasing trends and losing touch with who they were. Declining sales and success can do that to a band’s confidence. For the most part, this Duran Duran album attempts to capture the adult pop market in 1990, which was the least interesting direction the band could have pursued. The label eventually cut and run on the album’s poor sales and the album’s best track (“First Impressions”) never reached audiences. Even if it had, there’s not enough of Duran Duran in this album to ignite much interest. John Taylor, to this day under appreciated as a bass player, never found his groove with Sterling Campbell. It’s not a knock on Campbell, rhythm sections either click or they don’t. Without that, the band could not achieve the foundation for greatness that they had on earlier records. At the time, I remember thinking this was the end of the road for Duran Duran.
Jason Lent discovered Duran Duran on MTV 1983 and a lifelong musical love affair was born. In 2010, he left a job in Hawaii to tour with Cowboy Junkies as a music writer and his work has appeared in various online music outlets. He currently resides in Las Vegas managing a music venue while trying to learn John Taylor’s bass line from Rio.
This is the first in a series of ongoing articles about Duran Duran mix tapes created by fans. Or maybe it’s a standalone thing like Arcadia—it’s really unknowable at this point.
To those of us old enough to remember, making a Duran Duran mix tape was an all-night affair that involved shuffling through cassettes, pressing pause at just the right time, and nervously trying to figure out how much space was left just by eyeballing the amount of tape remaining on the spool (because adding up the song times and subtracting them from 45:00 would be too hard).
This month, I was in a reflective mood…okay, I’ll admit, a Medazzaland mood. Be warned. However, one of the miracles of dragging and dropping songs is that what you start out with is often not what you end up with…
This Duran Duran mix tape is, of course…two sided… an A-side and a B-side. Today we’ll start with side-A, and follow-up with the B-side tomorrow, just in time for your New Year’s Eve party plans.
1. Still Breathing
I was in the mood for something slow and moody (my wife would reply, “Just look in the mirror after you first wake up”), and I especially like the haunting synths and drums on this track. I will admit that I don’t rank this in the upper tier of Duran ballads/slow songs, but maybe after ten years it’s growing on me.
2. She’s Too Much
Is it me or does this track get lost in the train wreck that is the B side of Red Carpet Massacre? I find that I completely forget this song exists, then stumble upon it and realize how much I like it. It flows very nicely after Still Breathing. Exactly the mood I was going for.
3. So Long Suicide
Now we’re talking. My favorite song from the second side of Medazzaland. I’ve always viewed this song as the sequel to “Ordinary World.” Despite the ominous “suicide” in the title, this remains hopeful —“I need you I don’t want to bleed for you” and “hello I’m alive!”—but there is also that line, “I’m scared of being ordinary” which I’ve viewed as a reference to “Ordinary World” and the fact that this person’s struggle goes on. The conflict also comes through in the song’s structure, as the calm verses are interrupted by the raucous guitars in the up-tempo chorus, mirroring the ebb and flow that you go through when you’re grieving. I’ve probably thought way too much about this song in the 17 years it’s been out…but it’s a favorite of mine.
Astronaut has two sneaky good songs buried on its “B” side and this is one of them, the original line-up’s answer to “Out of my mind” in a weird way. I especially like the classic Duran “na na na” during the bridge. Makes things a tad more upbeat…
5. Who Do You Think You Are?
I told you I was in a “Medazzaland” mood. This is a more straightforward power ballad than So Long Suicide, although it still has that slow/fast/slow thing going on.
6. Winter Marches On
You knew this would be on this Duran Duran mix tape somewhere, right? It’s generally regarded as the closest thing Duran has to a Christmas song (this is according to Nick himself in an Ask Katy many years ago). It stands out as the slowest track on the otherwise heavily funk influenced Notorious. And, for the purposes of this list…it’s as far back in time as I go (what can I say? Classic Duran reminds me of the summer. It’s winter. Not in the mood for that…and this is all about mood!).
7. The Edge of America
Duran at their most U2-ish. Perfect place to go after “Winter.”
8. Lake Shore Driving
I suppose I could have separated these two but that doesn’t feel right. And I’m sick of adding all these slow songs. We need to pick things up.
9. Runway Runaway
After four years, I think we can now objectively review AYNIN and place it in context. And at this time…I believe this is my favorite song off that album and one of my favorites ever by the band. I would include this in any mix I make…
10. Red Carpet Massacre
The heresy! Look, this song is great…I was done with slow songs…stop judging.
11. Be My Icon
Wickedly clever lyrics and awesome guitar. I warned you that I was in a Medazzaland mood…
And in perfect Duran-style, I’m leaving you all hanging, wanting more…until tomorrow when I unveil the rest of this Duran Duran mix tape!
Be thinking of your own Duran Duran mix tape choices and let me know what your A-side would sound like in the comments!
Duran Duran history for today, December 29th comes to New York, when in 2010, Nick Rhodes and Simon LeBon appear on the Today Show. Hmmm….I wonder what album they were promoting??? Seems SO LONG AGO NOW I can’t even begin to remember…maybe watching it will refresh our memories.
I have history on the brain. Yes, part of the reason, is because I am teaching history this year. Part of the reason could be that we do a daily Duran Duran history blog post. Yet, this week really made me think about history. Why? Obviously, there was this little rumor this week about Lindsay Lohan in connection to the next Duran album. Any and all news and rumor should be making me think about the future, right? This one didn’t. It made me think of the past, specifically recent Duran Duran albums and their reactions from fans.
First, I thought about this time of year four years ago. Think back. What was going on three years ago in December? I’m sure that many of you guessed it. The Duranie universe was all excited! We had a new single in All You Need Is Now along with the video that accompanied it. The digital copy of the album was about to drop. Each and every day was filled with some new piece of information, new interview or new video clip, etc.. Social media was hoppin’ and many, many Duranies were spending hours upon hours hanging out on Twitter and/or Facebook. Life seemed really good and the future was definitely bright. While I’m sure that there were some fans who weren’t all that excited or didn’t like what they had heard so far, those fans were few and far between. In general, most fans were pretty thrilled with the state of Duranland, at least from what I could tell.
This, of course, is not how I think of the Duran sphere when I think back three years before that. 2007 saw the release of Red Carpet Massacre. Like the release of All You Need Is Now, there was plenty of news to share and discuss. In contrast, though, from the AYNIN era, the discussion wasn’t overwhelmingly positive. Instead, debate was the most common occurrence on message boards, then. While some were excited by Red Carpet Massacre and the working relationship between Duran and Timbaland and Duran and Justin Timberlake, others weren’t. The fans who liked RCM, I’m sure, probably felt like they were doing a whole lot of defending the band and the album whereas the critical fans kept trying to explain why and how this album was so bothersome to them.
As I return to the present, I try to place this rumor in the context of recent Duran history. It seems clear to me that rumors like the one we had this week fit way more with the RCM era than the AYNIN era. Clearly, if the rumor turns out to be true, there are some fans who would like Lohan to be on the album or would be okay with it for whatever reason. There are many other fans who would not for the reasons brought up this week and more. From what I saw, the discussions already started forming the same camps as fans did in 2007 over Timbaland. Some fans instantly defend the band or try to find/point out the positives. The less-than-excited fans try to articulate why this rumor bothers them so. Not fun.
Is this the normal ebb and flow of Duran Duran and Duran Duran fans in that, for one album, the fans (in general–not everyone but most) love the album, but then question the moves made for the next one? If so, then, perhaps, one just needs to accept that as part of being a Duranie. For me, personally, I hate the fact that unlike AYNIN, there seems to be little excitement. There seems to be a lot of debate and some concern. I so wish that wasn’t the case. Now, in fairness, perhaps, this concern and debate will change once facts are known. Maybe part of the problem is that the album has taken so long to be finished that people couldn’t sustain excitement but that it will return with the release of #DD14.
Until then, don’t blame me for being wanting to be stuck in the most recent Duran history with All You Need Is Now away from Lindsay Lohan and the cast of thousands that supposedly have worked on DD14. Just send me to the eagerness of a Mark Ronson produced, very Duran Duran sounding album.
Today’s Duran Duran history takes us back just four years ago to 2010 when Simon was the guest on BBC Radio 4’s Loose Ends. Based on the date (late 2010), I would assume that Simon was doing some initial promotion both for the All You Need Is Now single, which was released on December 8th, and for the album, which was released on December 21st.
Perhaps, some of you would be able to hear this here. Maybe, others of you could check it out here.
What do you think? How does this compare to how Duran Duran seems now?
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 constant 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
How 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 when 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
It 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 as 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.
I’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 over, 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.
I 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 friendship(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!
I consider myself to be a pretty forgiving fan. Now, before those of you who really know me start laughing in protest (or is it in jest?)…let me explain. I wait around while the band takes years to write and record. Not literally. I mean, I’m at home in California. I still pay at least half-attention to what’s going on. I don’t mind that we (the fans) have managed to frighten the band off to the point where they very rarely engage on social media. (I don’t mind MUCH, I should say.) I understand that the chances of my ever winning tickets to see them or a meet and greet are probably like, zero. In a snowstorm. Here in LA. (I think you probably get my point.) On the other hand, I am also pretty forgiving towards my fellow fans. I don’t expect everyone to know all of the band members birthdays, zodiac signs, or even their favorite colors. (I don’t know their favorite colors myself, now that I think about it.) I don’t expect everyone to know which album is the most collectible or even the most valuable, should you run across a specific printing or so forth. I don’t necessarily think everyone has to know their signatures so well that they are able to authenticate them, for instance. I think it’s just fine that some people do not go to every show, or own every album, or go to every event. Let’s face, I’m not even able to do that, not by a long shot. So why would I expect that of others, right?
However, and this is a big however…there are SOME things though, that should be common knowledge by now. For example, I kind of think that most fans, most people that would bother to comment on the band’s Facebook page for example, should know that the Taylor’s are not brothers.(It’s a coincidence, people.) I kind of feel that most people should be able to recognize that Rio was not the band’s last album (Seriously??), and if I’m really reaching, perhaps they should know that the band has actually put out albums since 1993. (Just stop.)
Along this same vein, it really does floor me when people who proclaim to love the band with ever fiber of their being decide to comment on recent photos or news about the band and ask “Where’s Andy?”
You see, I don’t really ask for much. I don’t. I know that not everyone has the time, energy or capacity to write daily blogs about the band. I realize that I’m unusual. Quirky, even. I know that not everyone schedules personal vacations to coincide with tours, or has an ongoing spreadsheet to keep track of every possible moment in Duran history. Yes, I know what OCD is, thanks.
As much as I try to be understanding, I can’t help but scratch my head in wonder as questions like that are asked. I wonder what those fans have been doing all this time. I mean, there was an extended period of time where I wasn’t on top of my game. I didn’t know much about John’s solo career, for instance. I knew even less about Simon’s. Around the time of Medazzaland (and perhaps a bit before), I really did stop paying attention. Even so, I knew when John left the band…and it wasn’t just some crazy form of ESP that told me. No, I’d heard about it somewhere. When I really got back involved in the fan community, I spent some time catching up. I did a lot of reading. The last thing I wanted was to ask something that was common knowledge, and for those of you who remember the message boards at dd.com – you know that was the LAST place you wanted to ask a stupid question. So, I caught myself up. Fast. I enjoyed reading and finding out what they’d been up to, because this was a band that I’d loved since I was ten or eleven years old.
We all occasionally miss things, I suppose. To me, Andy leaving is a pretty big thing to miss…but to others, perhaps not. Life happens, and at our age, a LOT of life tends to happen, really fast. Even so, it’s getting to the point where I’m seriously considering a Duran Duran FAQ.
To those poor unaware souls, allow me: He’s gone. He’s been gone since 2006. Why? As John likes to say, we’re just gonna call it “differences”. If you’re asking about Andy, my guess is that you haven’t heard Red Carpet Massacre OR All You Need is Now…much less have any idea who Dom Brown might be. In which case, I would invite you to head on over to iTunes or where ever you go to buy music and get some, because you’re about to have your head completely explode. No time like the present to catch up a bit, because next year will bring new music.
(Wait, #DD14 IS coming out next year, right Duran Duran?? Just checking….)
An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!