Tag Archives: Austin

Go Directly to the Voodoo with DD in Austin Texas!

Ed note: We’re always looking for willing bloggers to share their concert experiences!  Today we have a guest blogger from the UK sharing a tale of his adventure to the US for a recent gig!  

By Nigel

When DD hit the scene I was in my early twenties. I bought their first two albums , I still think the first album is their best, followed now by Paper Gods. Through the nineties, DD were on my radar, with songs like “Ordinary World” striking a chord. I also remember a small TV concert with Emma Bunton (Baby Spice)  while I sat on a sofa. I don’t remember hearing of reunion gigs in the early nineties,  but I do remember “Sunrise” being released.

Then in  mid-2015, I saw A Diamond in the Mind on TV.  I was impressed with their fantastic live show. Dom and Anna on stage enhanced the whole performance.  Songs like “The Reflex” with its longer intro sounded even better than the original . After a few plays of the classics I slowly began to enjoy the new songs like “Girl Panic”, etc. This led me to see if any other new material was about.

The timing was perfect because Paper Gods was to be released in September, followed by a world tour.  I decided on going to my first DD concert and set about learning all the songs on Paper Gods.

My first DD gig was to take place on December 10th in  Bournemouth, only 80 miles from my current home, and also my second home town having spent all my childhood holidays in my parents caravan nearby (Simon said at the concert that he had been nearby in Canford Heath in his early years, maybe we met on the beach 50 years earlier?).

As I arrived at the concert I was aware that the audience was still mainly female, but there were also couples and some mums and daughters etc. Being a straight male at my first DD concert on my own, I felt at ease with the crowd around me, as I was about to sing every word to all the songs. I have to say the atmosphere from ten thousand middle age women screaming was quite exciting!!  I was hooked. (Why had it taken me thirty years to see this, I wondered?) The concert was amazing!  In my opinion, Duran are still at the top of their game due to their fans, their songwriting, and their performances

After the show, I met some great Duranies at  Bar So, just opposite the concert venue.  Whilst chatting to some lovely ladies from Southampton, we were joined by a guy from the US (Boston, actually), dressed in a green superman cape.   He joined in with our conversation and appeared to be known to most people in the bar. I had a spare ticket to see another great British band the following night in Bournemouth. (Status Quo)  I offered the ticket to my new friend in the cape.  The following night was a real laugh with an American who had never heard of Status Quo. (they opened Live Aid).  At some point, he suggested that I should come to the US when DD tour next year.  I thought to myself, what a great idea for a holiday!!

After an email from my new friend in USA, I decided that Austin, Texas would be ideal for my next DD concert. With Chic supporting it meant that my two favourite bands ever would be on the same bill! I bought two tickets, and my best mate Stuart agrees to join me for a lads week away in Austin.  Time to party!!

We arrived in Austin two days before the concert and partied on sixth street.  We went to Buffalo Billiards, along with a very posh bar at the JW Marriott.

Friday marked the day of the show.  We took a taxi for $50.00 to the 360 Amphitheatre, and we weren’t sure if we could get a taxi back.  Our British phones weren’t working, so we had some residual fear in the backs of our minds that maybe we would be stuck there all night.

Before the show we had a drink.  Two ladies from Tulsa ask if they could join us as we had spare seats.  I answer, “Of course!!”  The conversation began about DD. They asked,  “Are you from England? That is a long way to come!!”  After some great banter, friendships were made with Dannette and Petra. Petra is a JT fan and told me that JT’s middle name is Nigel.  I corrected her by explaining it was his real first name, which amused her friend Dannette greatly!

My two new lady friends, Dannielle and Petra. Courtesy of Nigel
My two new lady friends, Dannielle and Petra.
Courtesy of Nigel

We then convinced them to give us Brits a lift back into Austin after the show . They were going to search the hotels to find DD.  I told them about my other new friend  in the green cape and said that if he was at the show, he would probably be in the right hotel with DD !!
The concert began and Chic took the stage. Nile sang “Get Lucky” as well as all the classics, which was fantastic!  The last song was “Rappers Delight”,  and people from the audience were also on the stage.  I looked up and there was my man (the caped crusader from Bournemouth) in a high visibility jacket. (He owed me a favour for that free ticket in Bournemouth!)   During the intermission before DD took the stage, I tracked him down in the crowd.  We spoke and I was able to get some “after show information ” from him.

I realize it was going to be a great night, worth traveling 9,000 miles!   The DD concert is even better on a hot Texas night, with a full moon over the stage during “Hungry Like The (were) Wolf!!”  Tributes were paid to Prince (Simon’s first to him) as well.

After the show,  we met our new lady friends from Tulsa. Petra was trying to get backstage with the wrong pass, and Dannette phoned to tell her I had good information from the caped crusader!!
We left the venue for the hotel in Austin.  In our best English accents we attempted to teach two girls from Tulsa how to say “Bon, Simon Le Bon”, with no American accent!! We were all having such a great time!!
As we arrived at the hotel, security was tight, but I was ready.   There was only Valet parking,  and so after one lap of the car park,  I hop out (of the car).  With my English accent in a Texas hotel, it was “obvious” I was with DD, right?  The car was parked for us, and we walked to the bar, closely followed by the caped crusader, (now known as high visibility man !!  ) And….. ooh yeah…. SLB along with the rest of the DD entourage, etc.  Our two new lady friends were in heaven, and admittedly I was feeling pretty good too !!  My mate Stuart is not a Duranie, mind you, and found it all to be a bit funny.

Me, my friend Stuart and Dannielle and Petra photo courtesy of Nigel.
Me, my friend Stuart and Dannielle and Petra
photo courtesy of Nigel.

The caped crusader joins us for a drink and SLB is on the next table.
What a night!   We lived life to the fullest!!  Good times on a DD adventure!!!

Nigel was born in 1961 in Swindon Wilts Uk. (Swindon is abNigel Thumbnailout 20 miles away from Salisbury. He thinks he read somewhere that JT has a house near Salisbury but he’s never seen him shopping…and he wonders why did he change his stage name to John??)  His musical tastes through the seventies were probably similar to DD.   Bowie, Queen, and T. Rex to name a few. His first concerts were quite heavy metal: Deep Purple, Judas Priest. In the later seventies he also liked Disco: Chic and Earth  Wind and Fire (who he saw in concert early in the eighties).

 

 

Year End Katy Kafe with Roger Taylor

Today brings Roger Taylor to the Katy Kafe. I always know it’s December when Katy announces Year End Kafes, and it’s a happy Monday because today the first one was posted!

Roger Taylor Goes Retro with Do They Know It’s Christmas

The purpose of the Year End Kafe’s are to wrap up the year, and today Roger Taylor took time out from the final (we’ll see about that) mixing of the album to chat. They began retro-style, by talking about “Do They Know it’s Christmas?”.  Katy asked Roger Taylor how he felt about it being the 30th anniversary for the record, and Roger responded saying that his first feeling upon hearing it each year is “annoyed”.  I guess he’s tired of hearing it after all these years…which I can understand. Completely.  (Although this is not the song I would have in mind while feeling that way…) He did say though that it’s “amazing that Bob [Geldof] got them all together”, and back then, bands were very tribal. There were a lot of bands in that group that would have never spoken to one another outside of an event like that. Who knew!?!

Roger Taylor’s Favorite Concert of 2014

Recently Roger went to see Peter Gabriel at Wembley, which he said was an amazing show (he likes that word almost as much as Americans like the word “awesome”).  He talks about the lights and shades of the show and his records, which reminds me of the Duran Duran lyric that I know each and every single one of you worth your Duranie membership card is singing in your head right this minute.  “Come on show me all the light and shade that made your name”.  Song?  Lonely In Your Nightmare for the win, Alex!!  (The game show Jeopardy. If you’re not from the US, you have no idea what I’m going on about. Google it.) Moving on…Katy asked about my very favorite Peter Gabriel song ever, wondering if Peter played “In Your Eyes”.  Roger responds saying that yes, it was the last song and that yes…it was “AMAZING”.  Of course it was, Roger.  It’s “In Your Eyes”!!!  Roger says we all need to go see it live or listen to it on YouTube…so you guessed it, I have it here:

Roger Taylor’s Favorite Album of 2014

For Roger, the favorite album of the year came later than expected as he very recently discovered a band called Jungle that is very big in the UK.  Roger says that the band has a Marvin Gaye retro-feel and that he loves the album.  You can hear Time here and Heat here.

Additionally, Roger talks about the latest Coldplay album, Ghost Stories, which was mixed by none other than Spike Stent.  He cites the depth of the album, and the light of some of the songs, saying that these two albums are his favorites of the year.

Roger Taylor On His Best (or Favorite) Events of the Year

Roger begins with a huge personal event – his youngest son Julian just appeared in his first Nativity event as a shepherd. According to Roger, he sang, had some lines and even danced. I’m sure he was adorable!!  Let’s face it this event was probably FAR better than the Duran Duran event in Austin, which of course was the next event Roger mentioned.

The F-1 Fan Fest in Austin whet the band’s appetite for playing live again, he says. They played for an hour and a half, and he really enjoyed the race the following day.

Roger also made mention of the Teenage Cancer Trust in London. He said this show was particularly fun because of the “real” Duran Duran fans in attendance at the show.

For the band, 2014 was really about finishing the album. Roger claims that the album “really is nearly finished”, saying that they are spending 10-12 hours a day in the studio to get it done.  Something tells me they’re hoping to be finished by the new year, if not Christmas. I’ll say that by the way Nick looked in the Lindsay Lohan photo from earlier today, he’s never left that studio! He had a bit of the “I-am-crazed-and-haven’t-left-the-studio-in-a-few-days” look going on there.

Roger Taylor looks ahead to 2015

Roger says he’s looking forward to people hearing the new album, and playing again. He says that they are steadily building towards that moment when it is released from the studio, which feels like a moment of freedom. He continued, saying that they need to work on the business-side and get that completed in the next few months and then hopefully if all goes well we will actually hear new music by April or May, but maybe not the entire record.  (Let me just say that this is the third or fourth year in a row we’ve heard something similar…and it’s getting tougher and tougher to believe or even have ANY kind of understanding of what sort of album we’re going to be getting.)

Roger says he’s working on “Durantime”…which in turn Katy likened to the movie, Interstellar.  I’m not sure if any of you have seen that, but basically the astronauts think they’ve only been gone two years when in fact they’ve been gone something like twenty-three. There’s that whole time-warp thing, you know. Roger Taylor, ever-the-sensible-one, replied half under his breath,  “Oh, don’t say that…the NEXT album could very well be that way!” (That’s not a good plan unless they’re looking to have all the Duranies show up on various band member doorsteps to motivate them….just saying.)

They finish up with Katy asking about an album title, of which there still is not one (Yes there is – it’s #DD14, don’t you know?!?), and Roger saying “Time does fly in between Duran Duran albums” when Katy mentions that her son Tanner was just a baby when All You Need is Now was released, and Roger’s son Julian hadn’t even been born.

You’re right Roger, time DOES fly.  Four years is a very long time, even by Duran Duran standards.

-R

 

 

This Week in Duranland – November 3rd to November 9th, 2014

What happened last week in Duranland?  It was quiet, right?  I don’t think so!  I know that I had a hard time keeping up with everything.  Anyone else?  If so, this is post is for you and for me!

Wild Boys Anniversary
Despite all of our efforts, time has not stood still.  This means that Wild Boys really did just turn 30!  It is hard to believe that it is 3 decades old.  Rhonda discussed all of this as well as the video posted of John Taylor talking about the song and video on dd.com on this blog post here.

Austin
Obviously, there was a ton of activity regarding Duran Duran’s performances in Austin.  First, they played at the Formula1 Fan Fest.  Then, they played at Dell World.  If you want to catch up on those performances, I recommend reading the following blog posts:  I Wish I Was On That Plane and You’ll See I’m Right Some Other Time.  The posts give links to reviews and a playlist of video clips, which is perfect for those of us dying for a show!!!  If that wasn’t enough, DuranDuranMusic has exclusive photos for members.

Press Clips
Duranduran.com has a new gallery!  It is a collection of press clips.  If you have some, you should definitely send them on to Duran Duran!

Simon and Hunger Game Soundtrack
Lori Majewski, author of Mad World, wrote a little article on Yahoo! Music News about Simon’s appearance on the upcoming Hunger Games soundtrack.  If you didn’t check it out, do it here now!

Countdown
According to the post on Duran’s Facebook:  Countdown’s 40th Anniversary special is airing next week in Australia.  Duran Duran is featured on part 2, which will air on Sunday, November 23rd at 7:40.  Hope someone will share with the rest of us!

Finishing Up DD14!
Speaking of Duran’s Facebook, more studio photos were posted.  These were posted with the statement about how they were “finishing up DD14”!  Let’s hope!  I think we are all dying for it!!!

Careless Memories and Nick:
Nick Rhodes was interviewed this week on the webiste, BlackBook, to discuss the book of photographs called Careless Memories, by Denis O’Regan.

An Illustrated Guide…
Duran Duran was featured in “An Illustrated Guide to Every Animal in Rock Music”.  Before you read the guide, can you guess which animal might be featured?  After all, Duran Duran mentions quite a few animals in their songs…

Today Show Mention
The Today Show discussed who should be the next artist to do a James Bond theme this week.  This, of course, led to a Duran Duran reference along with a brief debate about who is the better band member:  Simon or John!  It is a fun watch!

Gavin Elder
Does that name sound familiar to you?  If not, let me catch you up.  Gavin is Duran’s videographer!  Thus, if there is a video put out by the band, it is usually done by Gavin!  This week, he got a little recognition on the Between 10 and 5 website.  Learn more about Gavin and his work here!

It definitely wasn’t a quiet weekend in Duranland!  It was so busy that I wouldn’t be surprised if I missed a thing or ten!  If so, drop me a comment here!

-A

I wish I was on that plane

Can’t really beat a great review, and from what I’ve heard all over from fans who were there – the Duran gig at ACL/Formula-One for FanFest was amazing.

Let’s be honest: we’re all dying for shows. I don’t know if the band really gets it or cares, but fans miss them. GREATLY. It’s been a whopping three years since their last tour, and if you’re not from the states or didn’t hit one of those shows on the final leg of the All You Need Is Now Tour (or if you had the bad luck of having your show canceled), it’s been even longer since you’ve seen them. I have a sneaky suspicion that at this point, even a lackluster show with Hungry Like the Wolf on continuous play would have been universally cheered, even by me….but make no mistake – this was a solid show by anyone’s standards, and I’m posting a link to a review by Austin City Hall to prove it!

Daily Duranie had several friends in attendance at the show while the two of us (Amanda and I) sat at our individual homes silently weeping into our vodka tonics (ok, perhaps that was just me. I’m not sure what Amanda did on Saturday night.). It was fabulous to see Twitter and Facebook inundated with photos and even videos from the show.  While I wiped my tears and sniffled a bit, I checked out videos and pictures and felt like I was there. (almost)  Admittedly, I wish I could have gone, and the experience of sitting at home and getting the play-by-play the next morning only makes me more resolute to get to shows next year. If they tour. (PLEASE TOUR. SOON!)

Ah yes, I can almost taste the desperation lingering in the air around me….I feel the days of pre-sales, cursing, cocktails, and road trips almost upon us….

Until then, here’s some fun to keep you going (special huge thanks to Michele McKeever and her husband for being ROCK STARS and taking so much video!!!) I organized it all into a playlist, and if I get time – I’ll try to organize it in order of the set list that night.  Enjoy!!

-R

Give Me a Sign

It is true, I have some of the best friends the world could offer.  I say that with complete bias, and in truth, I sit here wondering how I could have ever gotten so lucky.  As always, the answer (I believe) comes back to Duran Duran.

I curse (at) that band sometimes. Things don’t always (read: rarely) work out for me, and it’s hard to ignore that by sheer appearances – some people have ALL the luck and others have none. Of course that’s likely not reality – it’s merely perception, and one can’t really spend a lot of time thinking about all the ways in which they’ve been overlooked or wronged because it’s a waste of time.  But I still take out the occasional disappointment on them by complaining about ticket prices or proclaiming that it seems like the same basic group of people always win contests.  Then I get busy here at home, count my own blessings, and realize that I really am lucky.

This week is a prime example. If the world had worked out the way I felt it should, I would have been getting ready to drive up to Monterey yesterday. In doing so though, I would have missed my son’s school orientation. We have the same orientation every year, so it’s not as though it would have been horrible to miss it, but even so, the potential mom-guilt lingered in my head. Then there is today, where I would have missed a ton of things in favor of being in Monterey. My youngest is going into first grade and has absolutely nothing good to say about the upcoming school year aside from getting her own desk (last year they didn’t have actual desks), wearing a backpack to school and perhaps a longer recess. Today the class lists are posted, and I suspect a motherly pep-talk will be in order. If I were in Monterey, I couldn’t be here to do that, and Heather – my oldest – would have had to take my place. There’s a Robotics team meeting for my son, homeschooling to do, lunches to make for tomorrow, and a special “Night Before First Grade” book to read before bedtime. All things that can be done by others, but I’m Mom.  Most importantly, tomorrow marks the very first day of school. Had I gone to Monterey, I don’t think I would have made it back home in time for the morning “festivities”. My youngest will need to be walked to school, and my oldest – Heather – will begin her Senior year. There are photos to be taken, and probably a few tears of my own to be shed. It’s the very first year in six years that I will actually be alone in this house for a full day. I made it! AGAIN! Sure, someone else could have done all of that, but I’m Mom.

So while I am slightly melancholy about the idea that the band is in the same state as I am and yet I’m nowhere near by, as I mentioned yesterday – I’m about 600 miles (give or take) away – I’m also relieved that I’m here at home. Even so, as I posted yesterday about the possibilities of meeting the band at the airport, there was a part of me that wished I could throw caution to the wind and go have some fun. Then our power went out….over and over again…and the afternoon took on a life of it’s own. We were having power surges, which is bizarre because we don’t have them here…EVER…and my phone was out of battery as well. So it wasn’t until fairly late last night that I saw this:

Gimme a Sign

I’m not really much of a bragger, but this?!? I have to share. You see, while I was running around here at home trying to make dinner in between resetting my clocks and other appliances, my friend Krista had to drive “all the way to Millbrae to find a Starbucks” yesterday.  (Hardly, but I’ll never tell…) Amazingly, she found herself at the airport and ran into some guitar player she recognized. Not only did Krista have the wherewithal to ask for a photo – she had made a SIGN. For me!!  Do you see the Daily Duranie logo on there?!? So even though I wasn’t really there, I was kind of really THERE. (I can’t help but note that while I still don’t have a photo with Dom, my name does. I’m getting closer!!)  Thank you to Krista and to Dom, for being a really good sport.

My jaw dropped when I saw the photo, and…just as the power died yet again…I tried to tweet back. I didn’t know what to say. It’s really, really nice to have someone think of you during their own time of triumph. I don’t have photos with anyone from the band, and while I talk a really good game here online, the fact is, I probably wouldn’t have ever gone to the airport on my own to meet them. Too shy. I remember when Amanda and I went to London and she had to basically FORCE me to go to the studio and stand outside. I thought I was going to be ill many, MANY times that day while standing there.  Maybe that’s the subject of a future blog…

I really am lucky. No, I don’t have tickets to Monterey. No, I don’t have tickets to Austin either…and I may have to really cut back on the amount of shows I do for this next tour or find a benefactor (ha!) willing to help me out so that I can go to a few, but I have great friends who care about me. (and one who doesn’t mind posing for silly pictures after an 11 or 12 hour flight!!) I wouldn’t have met Krista or Amanda (or Dom) or really any of you had it not been for Duran Duran. It always comes back to that crazy band.  I’m lucky.

-R

(I have to laugh…if you recognize the line of lyric I used, you’ll know why.)

This Past Week in Duranland (August 25 to August 31, 2014)

It seems to me that each and every week in the Duran Duran universe is getting more and more exciting.  After a very long time of not very much happening, we now seem to have announcements each week!  I love it, but it is harder to keep up.  We do our best to react quickly to each and every piece of news.  In fact, we are very committed to this.  If we are going to keep a daily blog, it has to be DAILY, at the very least.  Sometimes, I question our sanity and then go right back to work.

This week saw two big news items on the band’s official website:

First, on the 25th, we learned that Duran Duran is going to play Austin, Texas, on Saturday, November 1st as part of the Grand Prix Formula 1 Fan Fest.  While tickets are available to this show, they are not cheap due to the larger event.  For information, you can read the official press release here.  If you want to read Rhonda’s blog post about it, you can go here.

Second, by the 28th, we had all learned that Duran Duran would be performing at the official unveiling of the Madza MX-5 Miata in Monterey, California, on Wednesday, September 3rd.  Since it a private event, there were no tickets available to the public, but there were some lucky fans in the fan club who won tickets to the event.  Yet, according to the press release, which you can read here, all is not lost for the majority of fans as highlights will be shown on Madza’s YouTube channel.  How did we respond to this?  We do what we always try to do–use it as a way to bring fans together.  In this case, we are hosting an online event, which you can read about and join in here.

The band’s official fan club reminded all of us about Denis O’Regan’s book, Careless Memories.  To see what is included in the book and to order, go to: http://www.ddcarelessmemories.com/books/elite-edition.  If you do get one, please, let us know how it is!

If all that wasn’t enough, there was some interesting activity on social media this week, too!

While the band’s Facebook and Twitter reminded us all about the upcoming events of Austin, Monterey, and Unstaged.  They also reminded us that Fashion Rocks is coming up quickly!  In fact, they posted a picture from the band’s In Style photo shoot that was done for Fashion Rocks.  I highly recommend checking it out!!!

We also learned via certain Twitter accounts (*coughJohnTaylorDomBrowncough*) that the band went to Moscow.  From there, we found out that they went there for a private concert for a Russian pharmaceutical company.  Some of our friends who are far better at searching for Duran Duran alerts found a few clips from this performance.

HLTW

Ordinary World

What will next week bring?  We shall see and it shall be interesting.  Just in case, you need the upcoming Duran dates listed in one place:

September 3rd:  Madza Private Party and Daily Duranie Durandemonium Online Viewing Party 6 PM PST

September 9th:  Fashion Rocks

September 10th:  Unstaged Screenings

September 14th:  Other Unstaged Screening

November 1st:  Show in Austin

What am I missing?!?

-A

 

Let Me Know if You’re Coming Down to Land

Can’t we all just be happy?

Amongst all of the excited chatter on Twitter and Facebook yesterday regarding the upcoming promo, Fashion Rocks, the “secret” show in Monterey, the Formula-One FanFest in Austin and anything else, it was clear that not all fans are quite so happy to see the band out and about.

If it wasn’t the ticket prices, or the secrecy about a private show, the glaring complaint was that the UK is being overlooked again. I’m assuming this means that since these first two shows aren’t in the UK, those fans feel kicked to the side. Remind me again, where exactly does the band live and record? How long has it been since the band has actually been to the states for a show – and actually played that show?  And what about the rest of the world, while we’re at it?

The band obviously cannot be everywhere at once. Many, MANY corporations are headquartered in the states, and corporate promotion is done here as a result. The band doesn’t pick show locations based on which fans they want to hang out with – those locations are based on where the money comes. This is a business and if the band isn’t making money, it’s just a hobby.

These are the first shows of many, and before anyone reminds me once again that “they always play more in the US”….you should probably reacquaint yourselves with the size and area of the US. It takes about 6.5 hours to fly across the US – on a direct flight. If you did that in the UK, you’d end up somewhere in Europe. We can’t travel the states by train – it would take a week to get from one side to another. So, no matter how many shows they play here, they can’t get everywhere there are fans.

Bottom line, we are lucky that the band is still playing and doing what they do. I will continue to say that whether they are in the states, the UK, Japan, or anywhere else. It’s a shame that after being home in the UK for an extended period of time to record, and seeing fans on a regular basis,one of the few times they dare step foot out of the country to play a few shows that they are likely being paid very well to play, there are already complaints about fairness.

-R

 

When you talk about loyalty

If you did not hear the news about the Austin show or the “secret” show in Monterey, California yesterday, you must have been off of the internet yesterday and unlike me – you were probably very productive. Well done!

For me though, the day was, well…busy.  Don’t get me wrong, I like busy. This was the sort of busy that happens after months and months of nothing. This was the kind of busy that takes your breath away for a minute, and you have to kind of snap yourself back into reality, wondering what to announce first, whether or not you should blog, and most importantly…whether or not you should enter a contest, which brings me to the subject of this blog.  Sit back, relax and prepare to laugh.

There are always going to be shows that we can’t do. I, for instance, cannot really book a plane and head off to, say, South America. I would LOVE to do that, I really would, but if the band were to play in Argentina, I would probably have to pass on those shows. Yesterday when the band announced the show in Austin and I realized that the show was actually on a Saturday in November – within striking distance of my birthday, there was a brief second when I thought “What if?!?” It didn’t take me long to come crashing back down to reality when I saw the prices for the show. Not to mention that I’d need to travel and find somewhere to stay, but the ticket prices are pretty high. I can honestly say that Amanda and I have never paid anywhere near $575 for a ticket, and if you know us, you already know that there’s no way we would settle for the cheaper (HA!) balcony tickets at $325 a piece. Been there, done that, I need the floor thank you. For me, dreams of that trip ended. There are always going to be shows that we can’t do.

So, I spent a large portion of the rest of my day helping my daughter Heather start her dance applications for college. I’m going to apologize right now for bringing her up on the blog – because by the time she graduates in May and goes off to college in August of next year, you’re all likely to know her very well! It’s going to be a very stressful year for ME as a mom, and the way I’m planning to work through this is by talking about it here. I’m sorry. I just hope maybe that some of you will understand  and maybe use some of what I share to help your own kids out. Or else you can just laugh at our missteps, because I’m sure there are going to be PLENTY. Anyway, we were working on a dance essay. Let me share the topic: You’re choreographing a dance number for about 15 kids – the kicker is that those 15 kids are ALL YOU at various ages in your life, from 3 years old on up to your present age (which for her is 17). Describe the dance, the kids in the dance and how you might use some of these kids for special parts in the dance. What is your methodology? I sat and watched Heather’s brain basically explode before we started…so that was fun. This is application number ONE of like twelve. It’s going to be a long Autumn.

It wasn’t until late afternoon when someone sent me a direct message that I started paying attention to the internet again. The notification on my phone went off and I knew I’d better check it. Little did I realize that MY brain was about to explode. The message sent me the link to the information about the secret show in Monterey California, and in case you haven’t read it or know what I’m talking about – which is kind of important – here it is! (taken from duranduranmusic.com)

“Duran Duran will be playing a private show at a secret location in Monterey CA on September 3rd at 6pm. If you are a DD VIP member and are in the area (and, most importantly, will be able to attend) please send an email to ddvip@magusentertainment.com with MONTEREY in the subject line. 

Act fast as the deadline to enter is Wednesday August 27th at 5pm. We will randomly select 5 winners, who can bring a guest, and will announce on the Fan Community website on Thursday August 28th. 

Winners will receive all of the details via private email. 

GOOD LUCK!”

Monterey is a little north of me as I live in Orange County – but what’s four or five hours of driving if we’re talking about Duran Duran?? As I mulled over the possibilities, three things came to mind:

1. I can drive to this show. Thus, it’s not REALLY “traveling” (I’ve been put on “traveling restriction” due to some silly thing about budgeting from the last tour….) Besides, it’s not really touring either, because Amanda cannot join me (and this for me is the real tragedy. I can just picture us on a road trip in my car going up to Monterey!!) I know how to split hairs, and this is totally just barely inside the current “Rivera Household Regulations”

2. This is the day BEFORE my kids start school. Thus, it is really still Summer! (never mind how I’m going to get my kids to school that following day)

3. I am not currently a paid member of Duranduranmusic.com.

Wait what?  Hold the phone…what?!?

That’s right. I gave up my membership quite a while ago. Truth be told, and I’ve blogged about this many, MANY times here – I felt that the management of DDM was well, awful. I know that we’ve gone through a couple different fan club management teams now, and I’ve noticed very little by way of actual improvements – but it was a couple (few?) years ago when, in a fit of disgust, I said no more. I would NOT pay money to an organization that couldn’t keep track of who was a member, who had paid, and most importantly – that did virtually nothing for it’s members. That’s not to say I didn’t love Duran Duran or that I felt as though they had anything directly to do with what was happening with DDM, but I had to make decisions based on what *I* knew. So I quit. I didn’t renew, and up until yesterday, I didn’t feel that I was missing anything. Amanda still had her membership, and when we bought tickets, she simply used hers. Other than that, she really didn’t use DDM much.

So, I sat there pondering point number 3 on my list. I alternately bit my thumbnail (horrible habit) and chewed my bottom lip (another terrible nervous habit of mine). Do I join? If I join, will it count? Can I still enter the contest? If I join, does it make me look like an ass for not renewing until there was a contest? I hate being a hypocrite, so how do I feel about DDM these days anyway? More lip chewing and nail biting.

I’m sure many of you would have bought the membership without even thinking twice. Still more of you already HAVE your membership and are probably thinking that I’m an idiot for not having one, but that since I’m not currently a member that’s my problem. You’re absolutely right on all accounts. Fair enough. For me, it’s the principle. I spoke with my dollars – the fan community sucked and I wasn’t going to pay for it. Has that really changed?

The ONE thing that has changed is that DDHQ brought DDM back in-house. They know what’s going on there because they’re the ones managing it. Now whether that’s going to be a resounding success or a disaster remains to be seen, but there is some comfort (at least in MY head) that the band’s management is now directly involved. That doesn’t mean it will be perfect, but you know – it might be improved. The platform itself is great, they just need people to run it that actually care. So, as I thought about that, I found myself filling out the information to rejoin.

So I did the one thing I swore I’d never do again…and that was be a part of DDM. Damn it. That said, I have a blog and I’m not afraid to use it. I’m truly hoping that the site becomes a source of pride and somewhere for fans to gather rather than a laughing point amongst fans, but in either case I’ll be watching and reporting.

In the meantime, I’m trying very hard not to think about that contest. I typically have terrible luck, so while I’m crossing various appendages hoping that I win, I also realize that the chances are slim.  But, you can’t win if you don’t play, right?

-R