Tag Archives: Astronaut tour

San Diego Sports Arena, 2005

I’m not going to lie. As you read this, I am doing one of two things:

  1. I am acting administrator for my school while my boss in on a week-long field trip to Catalina Island. I could be either pulling my hair out, rocking in a corner, figuring out why the high school kids continue to use the bathroom for the little kids (which isn’t allowed), ordering supplies, or breaking up a fight. Or everything at once!
  2. I’m sitting in my school’s office, which is really a library with a folding table in it that acts as my desk…reading James Comey’s book, which is out today. Yes, I pre-ordered it, and yeah – I’ve been anxiously awaiting its delivery. No, I’m not a politically active person, but I do love reading personal accounts of historical periods. This will go down as one “legacy” (of many) during the era of Trump, no matter how one feels.

Chances are, I’m probably doing more of the first than the second. This is going to be a rough week in more than one way. I may need to play “Pressure Off” on repeat just to remind myself to keep breathing.

On this date, Duran Duran played at the San Diego Sports arena in 2005. This was one of the dates during the Astronaut Tour. Although it was fairly close to me, I wasn’t there. Oh yes, I know why – this was during the time where my husband felt it was “insane” to go to more than one show on a tour. “Aren’t they all the same?  Why go more than once?”

Funny. I went to two shows during the Astronaut tour: Chicago and Milwaukee. Even that was out of line as far as he was concerned. Oh, honey. Fast forward to Paper Gods. Over the course of the entire tour – multiple legs – I believe I attended seventeen shows.

Yes, it was excessive.

Yes, I’d do it all again, too. “Just buy the ticket” is a good motto, because you just never know if you’ll have the chance again.

However, the point is that I was not in San Diego in 2005. Were you? Let me know!

-R

CSU Convocation Center, Cleveland 2005 – Who was there?

On this date in 2005 Duran Duran performed at the CSU Convocational Center in Cleveland. This was one date included on their Astronaut tour. Were you there?

Here’s the setlist from that night. Relive the moment and set up your own playlist while you’re dying Easter Eggs, doing some spring cleaning, or—if you’re lucky enough to be somewhere warm and beach-like—sitting outside!

  1. (Reach Up for the) Sunrise
  2. Hungry Like the Wolf
  3. Planet Earth
  4. Astronaut
  5. Hold Back the Rain
  6. Chains
  7. What Happens Tomorrow
  8. A View to a Kill
  9. Tiger Tiger
  10. The Chauffeur
  11. Ordinary World
  12. Save a Prayer
  13. Notorious
  14. Nice
  15. Is There Something I Should Know?
  16. Careless Memories
  17. The Wild Boys
  18. Girls on Film
  19. Rio

-R

We’ll Be Singing: Duran Tours

Now that I’m off of work for winter break and officially done with all the various tasks I needed to complete for Christmas, I can start to think about the upcoming Duran shows!  As we know, the band is due to play in Cancun on the 29th before moving on to the Washington DC/Maryland area for shows on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.  2017 will feature more Duran show as two have already been announced (the shows in Rancho Mirage at Agua Caliente in California) and more are expected to follow.

When the shows in California were announced, many/most Duran fans expressed surprise.  Haven’t they played enough in the States, many wondered.  Obviously, fans outside of the US felt disappointed that nothing was announced in their neck of the woods.  I, for one, can understand that feeling.  After all, is there anything better than seeing Duran live?!  I personally don’t think so!  That said, is the move to return to the United States for a third year unusual?!  Let’s find out!

When looking at the history of Duran tours, I feel that there have been different eras from the early days with the Fab Five, those middle albums of Notorious, Big Thing, etc. following the last of the tours with Warren after Medazzaland and Pop Trash.  Currently, we are living through the post-reunion tours that began immediately following the Astronaut album.  How much has the band toured since the reunion?  How much for each album?  Where did they go?  Let’s find out!

Astronaut:

Astronaut was released in October 2004.  The band played shows that fall, according to the timeline on the band’s official website:

October 3, 2004 – Columbia Halle, Berlin,Germany
October 11, 2004 – The Beacon Theatre, New York, NY, USA
October 12, 2004 – The Beacon Theatre, New York, NY, USA
December 2, 2004 – The Arena at Gwinnett Center, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (Star 94 Jingle Jam)
December 3, 2004 – Cox Arena, San Diego, California, USA (Star 100.7 Jingle Ball)
December 5, 2004 – Sony Studios, Culver City CA, USA (Bailey’s – The Set)
December 6, 2004 – The Pond Theater, Anaheim, California, USA (Star 98.7 Not So Silent Night )

If you analyze these shows, they played 7, 6 of them were in the US.

Then, of course, they toured a lot during 2005.  They shows were split into different parts of the world.

1 show in January in Europe
45 shows in February-March in North America
29 shows in June-July in Europe
16 in July-August in US
3 shows in Japan in August
4 shows in September-October in US
1 show in December in Argentina
9 shows in December in Europe

That is a lot of shows–108 shows in total.

2006 saw more Duran shows:

1 in January in the US
1 in February in Italy
1 in August in Monaco
1 in September in Hong Kong
6 in September-October in Europe
10 in October-November in US

That’s 20 shows in 2006.  Add to the 2004 total and the 2005 total and it equals 135.  82 were in North America (61%).

Red Carpet Massacre Tour:

2007 saw the release of the album in November.  The band played shows around the release:

14 shows in the US in October-November
1 show in Argentina in November
2 shows in Europe in December
5 shows in the US in December-January

Total of 22 shows with 19 in the US.

2008 shows:

1 show in Italy in February
8 shows in New Zealand and Australia in March-April
5 shows in Asia in April
23 shows in North America in April-May
20 shows in Europe in June-July
1 show in the Middle East in October
9 shows in South America in November
8 shows in North America in December

Total number of shows:  75 with 31 in North America

2009 shows:

1 show in Russia in June
6 shows in US in June-July
2 shows in the UK in July

Total number of shows:  9 with 6 in the US.  Total number of shows for RCM:  106 with 56 in North America.  The band played less shows for Red Carpet Massacre with slightly less percent in North America at 53%.

All You Need Is Now:

This album was partially released in December of 2010 and fully released in 2011.  Shows began in 2011 to support the album.

2011 shows:

3 shows in the UK in March
22 shows in North America in March-April
3 shows in Europe in May
4 shows in the UK in September
25 shows in North America in September-October
1 show in Brazil in November
11 shows in the UK in December
1 show in Ireland in December

Total number of shows for the year:  70

2012 shows:

8 shows in Europe in January-February
1 show in the Middle East in March
3 shows in Asia in March
6 shows in Australia in March
6 shows in South America in April-May
14 shows in Europe in June-July
1 show in Asia in July
11 shows in the US in August

Total number of shows:  50.

Total number of shows for All You Need Is Now:  120, which is more than Red Carpet Massacre and less than Astronaut.  The percent of shows in North America was 48%, the least amount of the three.

Paper Gods:

Paper Gods was released in September 2015.  The band played shows that fall.

2015 shows:

1 show in the UK in September
8 shows in the US in September-October
11 shows in the UK in November-December

Total shows:  20 shows

2016 shows:

20 shows in North America in March-May
3 shows in the UK in May-June
6 shows in Europe in June-July (5 in Italy)
28 shows in North America in July-September
1 show in the UK in December

Total shows:  58 (with 1 more to go!)

The total number of shows (so far) for Paper Gods:  78 with 72% in North America.

Conclusions:

Clearly, Duran Duran usually plays more than 100 shows per album cycle.  Therefore, it is not surprising that the band plans to play more in 2017.  What is interesting and different is the amount of shows in North America.  Since the band reunited in the early 2000s, they have played about 50-60% of their shows in North America.  During the Paper Gods Tour, however, that percentage has increased to over 70% with more shows planned.  Therefore, it isn’t the number of shows that is surprising or note-worthy but where they are playing that is.  While I love the fact that I, along with my other North American friends, have had many chances to see Duran, it would logical and fair for the band to try to reach other parts of the world after the spring US shows.

-A

Outside Looking Into Myself: Adult Fandom

As much as I love being with friends, it is nice to be back at home.  I think I’ve settled back in, and I might have even caught up on my rest.  Compared to the band, ten days isn’t very long to be away, but for me—it was quite a while. I’m the mom, master-scheduler, housekeeper, cook and chauffeur. I’m sure you get the idea. Things tend to fall through the cracks when I’m not here, and it’s up to me to gather the loose ends when I get home. I might be young again while touring, but when I’m home, it’s back to “adulting” I go!

This is my catch-up week before Amanda arrives next Monday evening and the madness begins again. Part of that catch-up involves reading the reviews I missed last week, and seeing some of the reactions on Twitter.  One of the comments I’ve seen over and over, whether we’re talking this tour or ten years ago, is “I feel like a kid again when Duran Duran is on that stage!”

I know that feeling well. I described the night I saw them at the House of Blues in Anaheim in 2001 with similar words. This was before the reunion, before Dom joined the band, and before Daily Duranie became “a thing.”  I caught a glimpse of myself back at the age of twelve, and I didn’t want to let go. I felt vibrant, energetic, and yeah, young.

Each time I went to a show, I felt transported back to the mid-80s. The music had a way of doing that, I guess. In many ways, that feeling was addictive. But after a while, I started experiencing the shows as an adult. That reads weirdly, but stick with me as I try to explain.

At first, it was all about experiencing Duran Duran as I would have done when I was a teen. “Rio”, “Hungry Like the Wolf”…”Planet Earth”…all of those songs…and it was because back when I was a teen, I never saw the band live. Singing and dancing my way through those shows gave me some sort of closure on that part of my life and that part of my fandom. I acted silly. I wore light-up horns. I held up signs. I did everything that I probably would have done back then. It was fantastic!

Somewhere along the line though, I stopped wearing the horns. I didn’t bring signs to shows. I stopped willing myself back to the 1980s. Instead, I started appreciating that I was in the 2000s. And then the 2010s. And so on. Don’t get me wrong, I still hope against hope that they play some of the songs I’ve never had a chance to hear live (old habits die-hard and I’m not at all sorry about that). It’s really more that when I go to the shows, I don’t feel twelve any longer. I feel like an energetic and vibrant 40-something.

What does that really mean? To begin with, I see the band a lot differently now than I did when I was a kid. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to bust anyone’s fantasies here, but they are human. They are real people with failings like anyone else. (I hear gasping out there.) They sometimes make very poor fashion choices. They are occasionally very slightly off-kilter when it comes to their talking points. Other times, they are brilliant. Their music speaks to me, and for me, in ways I couldn’t have ever written on my own.

They were my childhood heroes in the same way that once upon a time, my dad was Superman. Once I grew up, I came to the harsh reality that my dad didn’t know everything and was not the strongest man on the planet.  Similarly, the same reality check came upon me for the band.  Now—well, now they are people I deeply admire, even if they have no idea who I am.

There’s also the attraction thing. Yeah, I know it isn’t cool with the Duranie guys out there that the girls notice the band’s good looks. Perhaps if someone else were writing this blog, they wouldn’t mention it, but the truth is—of course I notice. I’m female. I would be lying if I said I didn’t notice their good looks. I’m attracted to them. I scream for them.

That doesn’t mean I’m standing in the audience, desperately hoping for my one night stand with any of them. Yeah, I might be a soccer mom. Sure, I’ve been married for twenty years (to an engineer, not an accountant, thanks), and yeah – if one of them looks my way I’m gonna smile back. That said, if I were to run into the band somewhere after the show I’m not wanting for much other than a conversation. That’s part of being an adult. We can converse without expectations for more.

Despite however much screaming, flirting, or fawning I’ve done over a band member during a show, let me be clear: the last thing I need to continue my fandom is a quick one-night stand in the room of a band member. I would much rather go for friendly conversation over a beverage, and walk away knowing that no one is going to be hurt by that in the end.  Love the fantasy, hell—I wholly encourage such behavior simply by writing this fan blog—but reality is another thing altogether. Self-awareness is a real thing.  I’m not saying anyone else shouldn’t bother, but it’s not my goal.

Another thing about experiencing fandom and shows as an adult is that I really try to stay in the moment. I want to soak it all in. I can’t speak for the rest of you reading, but I swear the years from about ten to twenty-six went by in a blink. I didn’t do too many DD shows when I was in my twenties but there were a few, and I hardly remember them. Even the first few shows I went to after the reunion are a distant memory. I barely remember the first Astronaut show I went to in Chicago of 2005. The memories are a blur after a vision of the band walking to the front of the stage with a heartbeat vibrating through the floor of the arena.

As time has worn on in the years since, I have tried to remind myself to embrace each moment of the show.  If I could slow down time during any point in the set, I’d choose New Moon on Monday.  I’m still sitting here marveling over that song. I just never thought I’d hear them play it and now I’m afraid that someday I’ll forget they ever did.

Sometimes, I’m more successful than others at enjoying each note of the show. I’m still guilty of occasionally grabbing my camera during specific songs in the set. I try to remember that I don’t know what the future holds. I should enjoy each second. Kids don’t typically do that because they think they’ll live forever. Unfortunately, I know firsthand that we do not.  So I work harder to be present.

I am happily embracing that I’m in my mid-40s, seeing shows and having a blast. I feel young and vivacious, and sometimes I pay for that the next day which reminds me that yeah – age can hurt sometimes!  Even so, I wouldn’t trade this tour, or any of the experiences I’ve had along the way. I am enjoying being a fan of this band as an adult, and as John says, “You’ve just got to go with it.”

-R

Ten years post Astronaut

Time really just flies by as though we’re standing still, doesn’t it?

Last month while on break, the tenth anniversary of shows I attended in Chicago and Milwaukee for the Astronaut tour passed. I really don’t know where that time went, yet a lot of things has happened in the years since. I made a group of friends, many of those same friends have wandered away, I had another baby, my dad passed away, I finished my gemology degree, this blog was created, a manuscript was written…and those are just a few things I can come up with off the top of my head. Time flew by, and I wasn’t really just standing still.

I didn’t really think much about that anniversary until this past week when Amanda and I got together and went to LA for the Lynch gig. There was one point, probably as we were standing together outside waiting to get up to the rooftop bar that I realized I was with a completely different group of people than in 2005, with the very notable exception of Amanda. My entire circle of friends has evolved and changed for the most part, but the very thing that brought me to this large community of people, Duran Duran,  is still the same. I still go to shows. I still consider myself a fan. I’m still very thankful that I have had the opportunities to meet wonderful people through the band. I still get angry with Duran Duran, and I still forgive. Mostly. (Still completely pissed about the way they treat Dom though, and I won’t even lie about that.)

If I could sum up some of the past three years as we’ve waited in between the last tour and this point, I would do it in this way: We’ve all heard the rumors. “This is the last album“…. “The band never wants to tour again“…”The band is only doing festivals this time“….I could go on and on. Talk about depressing. Wow. Let me be clear in case one of the band members actually reads this blog… when someone (like me) hears their idols say that they aren’t interested in touring and doing shows, it sounds very much like they are saying that they’re not interested in seeing their fans, they aren’t interested in sharing their work and success with their fans, and that they don’t CARE about their fans. For fans, who by the way have likely helped fund that fabulous lifestyle that band members may be currently enjoying, that really sucks. And by the way, we’re not just fans. We’re PEOPLE WHO FREAKING CARE. (I hate the way the word fans somehow equates somebody to being less-than-human, but that’s another topic for another blog that I fully intend to write in the coming days) So Duran Duran? We care!

Yet, from the folks I spoke to last week, some of which are affiliated with or work directly for Warner Bros, along with others who are in the industry and all have actually heard the whole single, tell me that this isn’t a band that is ready to quit any time soon. I hear that they have a fantastic deal from Warner, and I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m looking forward to seeing what they’ve got in store for the next several years. If the band isn’t ready to quit, neither should we. Forgiving some of the off-hand, aforementioned, “We’re not interested in touring” comments is easier when you feel the excitement in the air.

While yes, the topic is somewhat nostalgic when you sit back and think about ten years passing – that’s really not what brought me to write this post. We’ve all changed in the past ten years, haven’t we? I don’t really want to sit back and wax poetic on the errors of my ways, or the band’s ways for the past ten years. I think what I’m trying to do now is look ahead with great anticipation. Just about ten days ago we got our first real glimpse, a snippet if you will, into the first single off of #DD14. (if they don’t name the album #DD14 I sense that I may have major difficulty adjusting to typing the name at this point…) I know plenty out there are saying that they couldn’t really hear it to decide, and even others are saying they didn’t like it. Well, I loved it. I didn’t have too much trouble hearing the little we got, and it excited me. Sure, it could have used a little (LOT) more guitar. Yes, it could have been longer…but I can see the potential. I’m excited. It has been one hell of a long time since I have been able to really type those words and mean them here on the blog. So I’m going to focus on those words going forward.

Ten years post Astronaut. For me, that was the tour that really got me started. I had seen various shows prior, but never had I gotten myself involved with a fan community. I’d never toured with other fans, much less written a blog, organized a convention or traveled to see a band. I never realized that being a fan could be so fun. It’s a roller coaster at times, filled equally with uphill climbs and races downhill, but I wouldn’t trade any of those moments. I am EXCITED for what is yet to come.

-R

Duran Duran History – Salt Lake City

Duran Duran history for March 12 – TEN YEARS AGO TODAY in 2005, Duran Duran played at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.  This show was part of what tour??  The Astronaut tour!

Ten years ago. Holy cow what have we all been doing since then?? Seems like we should be having reunions, don’t you think?!?

Happy Anniversary, Duranies. It’s been ten long years since many of us completely lost our minds at seeing all five on stage playing brand new music. Good times.

-R

Duran Duran History: Mexico 2005

Today’s Duran Duran history takes us back ten years to 2005 when Duran’s Astronaut Tour had just begun.  On this date, they played at the Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City, Mexico.  The setlist was as follows:

SUNRISE
HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF
HOLD BACK THE RAIN
UNION OF THE SNAKE
ASTRONAUT
COME UNDONE
I DON’T WANT YOUR LOVE
CHAINS
WHAT HAPPENS TOMORROW
PLANET EARTH
TIGER TIGER
THE CHAUFFEUR
ORDINARY WOLRD
SAVE A PRAYER
NICE
NOTORIOUS
THE REFLEX
CARELESS MEMORIES
THE WILD BOYS
WHITE LINES (DON’T DON’T DO IT)
GIRLS ON FILM
RIO

-A

 

Duran Duran History: Jacksonville 2005

Today’s Duran Duran history takes us back 10 years to 2005 (Really???  That was 10 years ago?!?), when Duran Duran played in Jacksonville, Florida.   They played at the Jacksonville VM Arena as part of their Astronaut Tour.

DuranDuranMusic has the following setlist posted for this show:

SUNRISE
HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF
HOLD BACK THE RAIN
UNION OF THE SNAKE
ASTRONAUT
COME UNDONE
I DON’T WANT YOUR LOVE
CHAINS
WHAT HAPPENS TOMORROW
PLANET EARTH
TIGER TIGER
THE CHAUFFEUR
ORIDNARY WOLRD
SAVE A PRAYER
NICE
NOTORIOUS
THE REFLEX
CARELESS MEMORIES
THE WILD BOYS
WHITE LINES (DON’T DON’T DO IT)
GIRLS ON FILM
RIO

Anyone at this show?  Any special memories from it?

-A

Rhonda’s Duranie Fandom Moments

Amanda had asked me to come up with my top ten Duranie Fandom moments several weeks back, after having sat down and doing so herself, complete with photos to illustrate. At the time, I had trouble coming up with even ONE. Stress does that to a person, and honestly  there are times when it feels like so long ago that I even attended a show…well, it’s just very far removed from daily life here at Casa Rivera these days. Yet I blog about Duran Duran each morning….how does that happen?!?

Truthfully, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it’s all I can do to jot down a few words about the date in history (which we’re now just calling “Duran Duran History”). Sometimes I’m just not feeling very fan-like at all. Maybe I’m really stuck in “mom-mode” or “wife-mode”…but definitely not “fandom” mode. It’s been a rough few months, to put it lightly.

As I said yesterday though, having a single weekend away helped. I was able to stop worrying about things I cannot control (we all have our weaknesses.), and just smile, enjoy the music, laugh…and remember why it is that I’m still writing about my Duranie fandom! So, I’ve decided that since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I can take some time to describe my own top ten fandom moments.

Rhonda’s Top Ten Duranie Fandom Moments (not in any sort of order)

Finally meeting the band

After 20 years, or whatever it was at the time – I finally got the chance to go to a record signing. It was for Astronaut, and the signing was at the Virgin Megastore in Hollywood. I still remember standing in that line near the door to the store doing some major self-talk. “You will NOT sound like an idiot”….”You absolutely will NOT tell any of them that you’ve loved them since you were ten.” ….”Do NOT pass out.”  I pasted a smile (hopefully not maniacal) on my face and went in there with my head held high. I did great until I got to Roger, and only then did I gush with “Thank you so much for coming back to the band, Roger. You’ve always been my favorite.”  Seriously??  Oh well…I tried!!

Third Row – All State Arena, Chicago 2005

Astronaut Bus All State Arena 2005

There are probably many who will follow that up with “Oh, I had front row at____________”.  Yeah well, good on you. I’ve never won a meet and greet, either. Third row was the best it got for me on that tour, and let me tell you – I’d take those seats again and again and again in a heartbeat. I had never been closer, and up until that point I’d never attended a Duran Duran show with other Duranies. Talk about Duranie fandom. Oh yes. I will never forget Roger Taylor (did I mention that he was my favorite??) coming to the front of the stage during the heartbeat at the beginning of the show. I stood there shaking so badly that I continued to fumble with my camera the entire time he was in front of me. Oh well, at least I didn’t blind him before the show with my flash photography, right??

Front Row – DPAC, Durham 2012

Front Row without me in Durham

Yes, I finally got front row. Twice this tour…once in Biloxi because I was crazy enough to get myself to the venue by 7am and wait all day, and once in Durham because a good friend (thanks Jonee!!) saw something that she wanted to facilitate. (mainly that I had adoration for some guitar player who will remain nameless…) I squeezed up into that line of girls in the picture…and  I’ll just say this: BEST SHOW EVER.

Almost getting that drumstick at Voodoo 2006

oops...wrong sign. Well, we held this one up too!
oops…wrong sign. Well, we held this one up too!

No, I don’t have a drumstick in my “collection” (what collection?!?).  I do however, have a memory of Roger Taylor reading a sign I held up high for him at the Voodoo festival in New Orleans, cheekily asking if I could twirl his stick. (Wow Rhonda. Just wow.) I’m glad Roger is a good sport, because he just grinned and asked if I wanted it. (To clarify, by “it”…I think we all know he meant his drumstick, thank you.) I nodded yes. It sailed through the air, coming straight for me.  It was a perfect throw, until someone reached up and grabbed it right out of the air. Oh well. I looked back up at the stage, Roger winced, mouthed “I’m sorry” and I was in heaven. He spoke to me. Sort of.  No, I don’t have the drumstick, but the memory is vivid.

Getting a guitar pick from Dom

I’m not a very pushy fan, I don’t think. I’ve never ASKED the band for things. (Unless you count those front row tickets I’ve asked for here on the blog. In jest. Seriously in jest!!) I mean, sure – I asked for that drumstick I guess, but that’s different! In Biloxi though, I found my voice. I had been wanting Dom’s guitar pick since he joined the band, but I could never get close enough, and I never ran into him at a point where I thought he’d have one. At the end of the show in Biloxi, Dom came close enough to where I was standing that I could ask him. My voice worked. I asked, he flicked one to me. (in my head at the time he flicked it I was like “Are you kidding me? You’re flicking the damn thing? Do you not read the blog? Do you not know that I can’t catch??!! AAAH!) By some sheer miracle, I caught it. I put it in my pocket. Then his guitar tech came out and literally threw the other six of them from his mic stand right at me. Seriously. Two of them hit me square in the head. Thanks for making sure I got one!!

Interviewing Dom for Daily Duranie

A dream come true…and if I could do it again, I would do it completely differently. (I’d try for a face-to-face or Skype!!) Most know that I worked up a Q&A for Dom to answer, but I don’t think anyone but Amanda knows I emailed Dom to ask him if he would be willing to do the interview. I came home from the tail end of the All You Need is Now tour in 2012 and wanted to ask Dom if he’d be willing to let me interview him. I figured there was no way this would ever fly, a long shot at best. I emailed him. I figured he wouldn’t have the foggiest idea who I was – he meets thousands of people every night, and I’m just some face in the crowd. Well, he told me he knew exactly who I was. Then he agreed to a Q&A and the rest is history. I still pinch myself from time to time to make sure I’m not dead. 😀

Conventions

durandemonium t-shirt design

Some might say that convention planning has become sort of a hobby. Others might say I’m crazy. Both are probably at least partially true. I can really say though that nothing, and I mean NOTHING, has ever energized my Duranie fandom the way that planning and attending conventions has done. I love that feeling of freedom and togetherness that being at fan conventions gives. It’s like experiencing one shining, perfect moment with a lot of other like-minded people. Maybe it’s like a really long show without the band actually being there. I don’t know. I just know that in times when life isn’t working out as planned – I think of those weekends and they still make me smile.

A certain plane trip in 2006

Here’s a fantasy for you: you’re getting on a plane to go to a concert and you look up to see touring members from that band headed down the aisle towards you. Then they sit across from you. Go ahead, think about that for a minute or five. This happened. For real….and no, I didn’t get photos. I didn’t even THINK about photos, because I was too busy thinking “OH MY GOD”.  Duranie Fandom? Oh you bet. Did I speak? Yes, and I’ll never forget that two or three-hour plane trip. Good times.

Finishing the manuscript, writing this blog

Our manuscript
Side view of The Monster…our manuscript. It’s kind of big.

I know our book isn’t yet published. We’re working on it. The fact is, we finished the draft. That’s more than I could have hoped for even if it never sees the light of day beyond that. Who knew an entire book could be written on Duranie fandom?? I wasn’t sure…then I did it. If that weren’t enough, we write a blog every single day. I’ve learned how to create a website, MOVE a website (albeit not well, but you know….it’s a learning curve really), and do things I never, ever wanted to learn how to do. All for the love of a stupid band. Well, not stupid….but you get it. NOW FINISH THE ALBUM, DURAN DURAN!!

I’m almost afraid to give the last one, because the truth of the matter is – I’m not done. I’m not done living or going to shows or being a FAN for that matter. Seems silly to come up with a top 10 list of Duranie fandom moments when there hasn’t been an ending yet. That said, there is one moment that in my head, almost always rises to the top whenever I think of moments. It’s the saddest moment I’ve ever had as a fan.  On the same token, it’s the most meaningful.  

Standing in front of Simon as he told all those at the studio in May of 2011 that the UK shows would be canceled

Ice Cream makes it all better
We did what any heartbroken American would do. We had ice cream.

This memory is especially poignant, and even just the slightest bit painful. That day, Amanda and I had gone to the studio (here’s the funny part -I’m not even sure “which” studio we were at because someone else had taken us there. Had it not been for this person, Amanda and I would have never even seen the band on our first trip to the UK in May of that year, and if we were to go back to the UK, I don’t think I could find my way back there. That should provide some comfort for all involved!) We all said hi to Simon when he got to the studio that day, knowing that two of our shows had already been canceled and that this rehearsal would decide the fate for the rest. He didn’t sound bad, but he took the time to explain to us what was going on. He seemed particularly concerned for those of us who had traveled a long way to be there – and it was the first time I’d ever really felt connected in any way to him. I mean, I love Simon as does any fan – but this was different. I can’t put it into words. I just know that I’ve never felt fandom, my Duranie fandom, like I did that day.

Today I’m just thankful and counting my blessings. I’m so glad I convinced Amanda to start this blog, even though there are times – recent times – when I wake up in the middle of the night in a panic because something isn’t working right on the blog, or because maybe in the past someone has written a horrible comment to us that I can’t seem to let roll off my back, or because I offended someone I hadn’t meant to offend. The overall experience has been beyond words. I’ve learned far more than I ever expected, both about myself and about the band, believe it or not. I’m lucky to say that I’m 50% owner of this operation, and that we’re headed into the next album with nothing but excitement and hopefulness for more incredible Duranie Fandom moments ahead. Happy Thanksgiving to our US readers, and Happy Thursday to the rest of the world.  Thanks for reading!!

-R