I think I must be on the topic of rumor this week or something…
As I was looking at our Day in Duran History spreadsheet (yes, we actually have one!), I noticed that on this date in 2001 – there’s an entry that says “dd.com denied a tour with the original five on this date”.
The real story is that the day prior – March 19, 2001 – allstarnews.net broke a story about the original five (Simon, Nick, John, Roger & Andy…in case you forgot!) touring together. DDHQ, or duranduran.com, was quick to announce on this date in 2001 that such rumors were completely untrue.
Except of course they weren’t.
Turns out, timing is everything. Now, I don’t know how allstarnews.net found out the news before DDHQ was ready to make the big announcement, but I suspect it went a little something like this:
Management calls a promoter, perhaps forgetting to have them sign a NDA (non-disclosure agreement) before getting them under contract to put together a tour for Duran Duran. It could have been that they actually did have them sign one, but as the promoter contacts venues who may be interested in contracting a gig with the original five members of Duran Duran, who haven’t performed together since the 80’s – the news was expertly leaked to a news site. After all, HELLO, this story was huge!
Hell, I’d have taken out a full-page ad in a newspaper at the time. (note to DDHQ – I’m much better at keeping secrets now, I promise!)
Said news site does their job and broadcasts the news on the ‘net. Even without social media, it takes almost no time before this headline reaches Duranies around the planet, who begin to fall off of chairs while typing the word thud on message boards and forums around the world. Meanwhile, DDHQ is found taking Advil, Tylenol and/or Paracetamol, while needing a lie down with a cool compress.
It is decided that, rather than admit to the Fab Five reuniting and losing full control of the narrative, and how it will be unfolded to the world, it is best to deny the story completely. The words saying as much are posted on dd.com for all to see.
Meanwhile (most) Duranies skip the Tylenol, Advil and Paracetamol and go straight for shots of whatever hard liquor is available. Vodka shots, anyone??
Or maybe that’s just MY version of the story.
Of course, we all know how this turned out, don’t we? It would be two years before the band actually started to do shows together, but yes – the original five DID reunite – and it was a bright and beautiful time to be a fan.
This story is also why, even when DDHQ denies, or even better, full-well ignores rumors and questions about rumors, fans don’t necessarily listen – in fact I’d argue that it just forces fans to do more sleuthing and investigating on their own. I suspect that this might where the “relationship” between DDHQ and fans started to go really wonky, although there were certainly signs of that prior to 2001.
While it is really neither side’s fault – DDHQ did need to protect their ownership of such a huge breaking story, and fans had the right to be excited by such a bombshell announcement – I think it makes it difficult to work together at times, and perhaps that alone is part of the problem. Are we (fans) really just a problem that needs to be handled, or are we people who can be trusted to be there when it counts? I’m not quite sure. Regardless, the distrust is palatable, and pretty unfair, both ways.