Tag Archives: autographs

My Head is Stuck on Something Precious

For the first time in a long time, I have been able to catch the official posts and tweets from Duran Duran’s social media. Most of the time, I just glance at them and move on, simply because that is all I have time for. This week has been different. That is an understatement. The week has been darn right weird since I have had four snow days. I live in the Midwest, an area of the country that is used to crazy weather. Even more important, I teach in an urban area, which rarely, if ever, closes. Yet, the extreme weather has forced the district to close Monday through Thursday. This has give me plenty of extra time to slowly grade finals, work on campaign tasks and even check out Duran’s social media.

Earlier this week, the band’s asked the question, “What is the rarest or most precious piece of Duran Duran memorabilia that you own?” I moved to respond and then I overthought the question. What is the rarest piece of memorabilia that I own? What is the most precious? Are those the same?

I feel extremely lucky in that I do have quite a bit of Duran memorabilia. While I did not keep everything from my childhood, I did manage to keep some things like my copy of Into the Arena board game. Would that be considered rare? I doubt it. Of course, I have gotten a few more rare items in recent times. For instance, I won some contest on DuranDuranMusic that included a bathrobe signed by Nick Rhodes along with Simon’s ear monitors from the All You Need Is Now tour. While those are pretty dang rare, I’m not sure I would describe them as most precious.

When I think of Duran memorabilia that is most precious, my first thoughts are signed items. My favorite might be my signed copy of John’s autobiography. Not only do I love the book, the autograph signing made it all the better. I asked him to sign a copy for me and one for Rhonda. I had the UK version and gave an American one to Rhonda. In addition to the signature, he also drew the UK and US flags in our books. If that was not enough, I gave him a Daily Duranie wristband that night that he chose to actually put on. Thus, the book reminds me of what feels like a magical night.

I might also consider my signed copy of All You Need Is Now. While I loved having the four band members’ signatures on the CD insert, it felt even more special when Dom added his signature to it. I swear one day I would love to get Mark Ronson’s autograph on it, too. Of course, the night that Dom signed it was another magical one in that I got a picture with John that night and Rhonda and I found ourselves with Simon for a picture, too! It was a super fun night.

Is this really a situation in which these rare and/or precious items become more important to me when they are a part of some amazing memories? I think that seems to be the case. Would I still say that those are the most precious? I don’t know. I always think about the question of, “What would you save in a fire?” The items I would save would indicate the most precious, right? As much as I love those two things, are they what I would grab? I am not sure. I might grab the book I had done about my friendship with Rhonda. After all, that contained a lot of the history of our friendship as well as our fandom.

In reality, I’m not sure that any of that is really the most precious. At the end of the day, I think what is really precious to me is not an item at all. It is my memories surrounding this fandom that are most precious to me. Those are what matters the most to me.

-A

Fame and Fans

This blog, generally, focuses on fans and fandom.  While we certainly talk about Duran Duran, it is from the fans’ point of view.  We rarely take the time to really think about what it must be like to be Duran Duran or anyone else famous.  Yet, I started to think a bit more lately about what fame and having fans must really be like.

I spent about a week, over the holidays, at my sister’s.  My sister is a mom to two teenage girls and one night they wanted to watch a movie with just the “girls” (my mom, my sister, my nieces and myself).  What movie was chosen?  It is one my niece got for Christmas called Beyond the Lights.  I had never heard of it before but I was open to it as it dealt with a fictional famous singer.  You can watch the trailer here to get an idea of what it is about:

As you can tell from the trailer, this famous singer is not a happy person.  She clearly isn’t thrilled with her lifestyle or her fame and is looking for someone to “really see her”.  As I watched the movie, I found myself thinking about the members of Duran Duran.  This character is frustrated by not being able to make her own choices but always doing, wearing, speaking whatever that will maintain or grow her fame.  She feels that she is not understood at all and that thousands feel like they “know” her, but no one really does.  They only know the image, not the real person.

I have to wonder if this is how the members of Duran have felt or do feel.  Do they feel controlled by others?  Do they feel trapped by their fame?  Do they feel like no one really understands or really knows them?  This reminded me of an article from Classic Pop Magazine that I recently read about Duran Duran.  In this article, the band’s success and fame was addressed.  Nick mentioned that, “It felt out of control on a nightly basis…It’s quite bizarre when you’re a prisoner of your own world.”  Wow.  It is interesting that he chose that word of “prisoner”.  Then, he related a story in which he was at a charity dinner with Justin Bieber and how Justin was never left alone even when he was eating!

This, of course, brought me right back to fans.  While I definitely understand the desire for pictures and autographs (and have certainly asked for some myself!), I do wonder if fans add to this feeling of being trapped that Nick talked about or how the movie showed.  Simon addresses this issue a bit further in that same article by talking about selfies by stating, “Selfies are the new autograph.  I don’t mind an autograph…they’re much quicker to do and feel less intrusive.  But people freak out when you say ‘no’ to a selfie.”  Does Simon or any other famous people have the right to say no without having people freak out on them?  I think most of us would say yes.  Yet, I know the argument that many fans have.  Simon and company CHOSE to become and stay famous.  On top of that, the fans are what brought their success; fans made the people famous.  Therefore, shouldn’t fans have the right to expect an autograph or a selfie?

I suspect that the best answer lies somewhere in between the never giving autographs/selfies and the always giving autographs/selfies.  I am not surprised if many/most famous people have some sort of limit about when and where they are willing to give autographs/selfies.  Simon even mentioned in that article that he would never do a selfie when he is eating.  Then, I think that fans should respect those limits.  We often ask the famous people to think about what it must be like for the fans and how the fans should be treated but it is probably good for fans to think about what life must be like for famous people.  It must not always be fun or easy to be famous or to have fans.  It seems to me that everyone (both famous people and fans) should try to be a bit more empathetic towards the other.

-A

 

 

The Story of Two Little CD Inserts Part 1

Once upon a time, there were two little cd inserts.  These inserts were relatively happy.  After all, they had been marked by the “FOUR”, those rock stars that their owners loved so much.  Oh yes, these little inserts were lucky ones as they had been given to dedicated fans who truly appreciated and loved them.  They weren’t just thrown into the trash or hidden in some dark, lonely desk drawer.  No, they were allowed to be out and proud in well-used rooms in their owners’ homes.  At times, their owners would pick them up, sigh and give a really big smile.  Life was good.  Despite this, the little inserts knew that something was missing, something ESSENTIAL was missing.  What could it be?  The little inserts would soon found out.
 
About a month and a half ago, the inserts heard their owners talking to each other.  Something was definitely going on!  Something exciting!  It sounded like whatever was going had to do with those rock stars that had marked them years before!!  The inserts were extremely happy for their owners as they knew how much these owners of theirs loved the FOUR!  Even more exciting, it sounded like whatever was about to happen involved a trip!  Again, the little inserts were happy for their owners but didn’t think much of it as they didn’t travel anymore since arriving in their current resting place.  While the inserts didn’t mind going on trips, they understood that their owners didn’t want them to get lost or get damaged in some way.  Thus, they accepted their lack of traveling.  
 
Yet, this event seemed different!  The Wisconsin based insert noticed its owner packing one night in between exchanging messages with the California insert owner.  The little insert knew that packing meant that the house was going to be quiet and there will be no action taking place in the office in which it rested.  Suddenly, though, its owner burst into the office and grabbed the frame in which it rested!  “What was going on?!,” the little insert wondered.  “What was she doing?” it thought.  With that, the frame was opened and the insert was removed.  The insert became scared as its fate seemed unknown.  “Would she throw me away?  Would she move me to a dark drawer?  Would she sell me to some other fan?” the insert questioned.  This didn’t make any sense!  The owner loved the insert, it thought.  Then, with a huge sigh of relief, he heard her mutter, “Let’s see if we can’t get you completed!”  The insert then knew it was time to travel as its owner placed it in a blue folder along with plane ticket information, hotel information, show information and more!  The insert knew that it was in for something special!
 
Soon enough, the little insert and its owner were on their way.  This trip found them first driving in a car, then traveling up in the sky!  The insert had traveled by plane before but then it was in the mail, in a package.  This was different.  This time, the insert could hear its owner and other people near by talking.  While the insert wished to be out of the folder, it was still very excited by what was going to happen!  After the plane landed, the insert remained patient as its owner met up with that other insert owner.  The little insert knew enough to know that crazy things happened when those two humans were together!  The excitement increased!
 
The next day, the Wisconsin insert found itself traveling again in a car.  Anticipation was high as the insert owners were exhibiting enthusiasm about this trip, even though both humans tried to act so cool, so unconcerned.  Yet, the Wisconsin insert worried about where his matching insert was.  Why didn’t the California human bring her insert along?  The Wisconsin insert wished that he could be with the California insert as it felt certain that they, too, could have fun.  Wait…what’s happening?  The car is being turned around?!  What’s going on?  In fact, the car turned around a few times but the only time the Wisconsin insert cared was the last time.  Why?  It was reunited with its fellow insert!!!  The two little inserts were together!  Oh, yes, something was definitely going on!  Something big!  Important!  Exciting!  The inserts couldn’t wait!
 
After a brief drive, the inserts and their owners made it to their destination.  At this point, the Wisconsin human held on to both inserts.  The inserts wondered and wondered what she was going to do with them!  They hoped it would be something good!  More importantly, could this be the time in which the inserts would finally be made complete?!  They had spent years feeling like something was missing.  Could this trip be the one to end that feeling forever?!
 
At first, during this time that the inserts were together, it seemed quiet and uneventful.  While they still sensed some excess energy from their owners, they remained in the Wisconsin human’s purse where it was quiet and dark.  Soon enough, though, they heard music.  Good music.  Familiar music.  Very familiar music.  Could it be that the FOUR who had made their marks on them were near?!?  It would make sense and be the reason that the humans were buzzing.  Did the human have some plan for them?  Something that involved one or more of the FOUR?!  They could only hope!
 
The night wore on and the inserts got worried that there really was no plan for them.  They were just going to take up space in the purse.  That isn’t right!?!  Then, suddenly, they felt a human hand reaching for them and handing them over to another human.  A British human.  They heard their owners explain that this British human needed to add his mark, his signature to them!  At first, this new human didn’t seem to understand as he began to flip through the inserts, ignoring the front when the California human explained that this male human needed to add his mark on the front along side the FOUR.  Then, each insert felt the smooth motion of a pen across the front of each of them.  Then, there was nothing but a huge sigh.  RELIEF!!!  Finally, they were complete!  Whole!  They now featured the marks of all FIVE!!!!!  Yes!!!  This was the best night ever!!!!
-A
Stay tuned as part 2 will be posted this week then any and all questions will be answered!!!