Anybody need more shows to look forward to for spring??
How about going to Birmingham??
No, no…I don’t have Duran Duran shows to announce…but Andy is going out on tour! The other day, Andy announced several dates on a solo tour during the month of May to promote his upcoming album. I don’t know how long it has been since Andy has done a solo tour, but I’d venture to guess it’s been a decade or few! Catch him while you can! Dubbed the City of Night tour 2020, here are the details:
In more Andy news, he took to Twitter yesterday to announce that “Love or Liberation”, was nominated for Best British Single in the Planet Rocks 2020 Awards. Put your fingers to work and vote for Andy here.
It’s great to see good things happening for Andy and we’re happy to help get the word out for him however we can.
The blog is short today, I’m sorry about that – but I’ll be back on Thursday with more!
I did something crazy yesterday. After blogging, I went outside. I trimmed and shaped most of our landscaping. It was sunny and warm, the air was fresh and clean, and it was fantastic. Then I came inside and cleaned out the chicken brooder. (The things I type these days…never thought I’d ever write about my own baby chickens!!) I felt really good until about 5:30 when my back announced, out of nowhere, that I was going to pay for what I’d done.
I love aging.
So today, in between taking copious amounts of Advil and teaching an unwilling-to-write-anything 10-year old tween, I need to blog. I had a great idea for blogging last night while I was getting ready for bed. I knew I could write it quickly and then be on my way for the weekend. This morning when I woke up – the idea was gone. Poof.
Again, LOVE aging. It is the best!
I’ve come up with another topic though. Lately, I’ve heard a lot of people talk about #DD40. I’ve seen a lot of tweets, spoken to people…and even hoped out loud for things, but I haven’t really blogged about it that much. So here we go.
Dear Duran Duran,
(Like the opening? I figure I may as well address it to the right people. Did I get their attention? Probably not. I think Simon just shut his laptop. *sigh*)
It is 2019. My first question is basic. Are we even gonna celebrate this thing at all? I mean, ever?? Yes, I know that none of you like looking back. I suppose that if this were my own 40th anniversary of something, I might not like looking back at Rhonda, circa 1980 either. In fact, I’ve seen those pictures. In my own case, I look like an awkward 10-year old. May those photos never see the light of the internet. Anyway, I get it. Simon did say we’re all looking old. Why look back when we can look forward, yes?
Fine then. But really? What year are we going to say is the 40th then?? I am confused.
If we ARE choosing to celebrate – and I don’t see any reason to turn down having a good party – then I have some ideas for you. Feel free to use them, and I don’t really need to take, or be given, credit. I’ll know. You’ll know. That’s enough for me. <exaggerated wink, wink>
Your anniversary shows (if I dare be so bold as to assume they’re happening) should be in the UK. Now, I realize the rest of the world is probably ready to throw grenades in my general direction now, and I’m sorry. Facts are facts. You started in the UK, and that should be the place of the party. We’ll come to you.
In keeping with that theme, it would seem to me that having these special anniversary shows that I am formally requesting should coincide, generally speaking, with the time that Simon joined the band and you first did shows with him. Especially since we didn’t celebrate the date you played your first shows AS Duran Duran to begin with. Did that happen by design? Forgot the date? Didn’t care? Simon didn’t want anybody to remember Duran Duran before he got there??? Who knows…….
So when was that time of year that you played your first show with Simon then? Summer? July?? This works for me, and I think it might still work for Amanda. (although I did see that the Democratic National Convention is in Milwaukee during July of next year…) I mean, since I’m typing up these ideas anyway. July of 2020 is a good time. It might be hot, but then, I did survive other summer shows outdoors in the US during Paper Gods.
Hmm…. NO OUTDOOR SHOWS. Can I even suggest that??? This is my blog. YES I CAN! (You just don’t have to listen. I know you’re not. Simon shut his laptop and John threw his phone. Ok then. Fine….)
NO FESTIVALS. <big giant grin here>
I’d like a set (as in more than one because I know they’ll sell out and that would suck for anyone who can’t get tickets!) of dedicated shows where we (you) don’t have to worry about little things like “Does anyone beyond the first ten rows really KNOW “Planet Roaring”, “Shadows on your Side” or even “Late Bar”?? (I had to get that in there, sorry.) Celebrating the band should be about more than just celebrating your hits. Yeah, I know that’s a pipe dream. So is the rest of this list. Yet I keep adding to it….
This next one is probably outside of your realm of influence, but I’m going to beg anyway. What if someone from your camp were to give the dates to a couple of fans who are willing (and very ready as of mid-April!) to organize a real fan party – like a Durandemonium party – during the time of these shows? We don’t need much, just the show dates and a good idea of where they’ll happen so we can pick a place that would be easy to get to/from along the way to shows. I mean, what good is an anniversary without a fan convention?!? While I know we’ve reneged on a couple in the past, if you announce the shows, we will put together the appropriate fan celebrations. Done deal. (Oh by the way…. Amanda? We might be planning a convention. Overseas. Forgot to tell you. Oopsie.)
Aside from shows to commemorate such a tremendous occasion, how about some good stuff for the collectors out there? Reissues? Hard-to-find video from way back when? Photo books? Posters? Things that aren’t priced as though they are coming direct from the Louvre itself? Just saying…
It would be really cool to have a massive one-off where everyone who has been a part of the band could be there. You know, Warren, Dom, Andy (that alone would floor me)…Sterling and Steve Ferrone…the list is lengthy, but you get the idea. I know that’s probably not possible, but then again – most of this list isn’t possible or probable! (Dear fellow fans, do not send me mail saying that the band doesn’t have to listen to me. I already know that. Please find a sense of humor. The band would be crazy to take cues from me) I figured I’d throw out the request here anyway.
Most of all, I think that people like me just want an opportunity to really celebrate the one constant that has been in our lives for 40+ years now. Sure, some of us have gone to shows lately, but I think that having a show or shows in Birmingham that are announced and billed as the #DD40 shows would have special significance, as they should. In all seriousness, the time I spent in Birmingham changed my entire outlook on Duran Duran, and even myself. The idea of going back specifically to see you for the 40th is especially intriguing to me. When I was in Las Vegas, nearly everyone I spoke with about even the possibility of going to the UK next year, was on board and ready to commit to being there. It could be quite a party, and really, isn’t that what this band is all about anyway? 😀
With all the love, joy, and respect possible,
So there you have it. My list. I could have added more on it, like showing up to our convention, or doing meet and greets, or even finally getting the chance to meet them beyond a quick signing….but I was kind and at least partially realistic! We just want to celebrate with the band, am I right? Sure, new music would be great. Old music would be outstanding…but mostly, I think we all just want to be gathered as a fan community, enjoying time with the people who brought many of us together in turn. I have loved Duran Duran longer than almost anything else in my life. Celebrating not only their music, but these guys as the humans they are – seems appropriate. I only hope they don’t let the time slip by.
I woke up worrying about the blog today. I don’t even know why. I think this might be a sign or symptom of the amount of stress I’m carrying around these days. Moving is hard. I keep telling my husband that it would be far more motivating if I knew where we were going, like maybe if we’d already bought a house or actually knew what city we were going to end up in. Right now, all I’ve got is a short list of houses I really like in a very wide area going from Camarillo to the south (of Santa Barbara) alllllll the way up to Atascadero and South Paso Robles to the north. (yes, those places are far from Santa Barbara. It’s a long story. Just go with it for now.) Meanwhile, there’s still this “Boston” possibility hanging in the air. Walt is going out there in a couple of weeks, and at the moment it’s possible that I’ll go along with him. That could change though because the timing is, of course, really bad with family graduations, birthdays, and moves home from college. I find myself asking (very loudly) when am I ever going to find the time to go house hunting anywhere. Thank goodness for Zillow.
No one really answers back. That’s probably best given that most of the time I’m alone while asking.
My last day at work is next Thursday. It’s the little one’s last week at school for summer. I still don’t know where she’ll go to school after what I think might be the shortest summer of my life…and then this morning I woke up worrying about the blog.
The blog is fine. It really is. I’ve felt as though I’ve neglected it a bit lately, right along with my writing. I don’t know when I’m going to find time to actually write this summer. It’s a small price to pay, I suppose, but writing keeps me sane. Blogging will at least continue, book writing may not for a bit. I am worrying for no reason about things I can’t even deal with right now.
I had big Daily Duranie plans for the summer, including a convention that I’m going to have to push out until I’m moved (I can’t plan a convention when I don’t even know where I’m going to be traveling from to get there. Bad timing – so once I know when and where I’m going, I can figure out the rest. I’m disappointed, but I just can’t do it all), and a visit with Amanda. I need to hang out with my best friend. I miss her. One way or another that has to happen. Then there’s a girls trip with Amanda and our other two friends. We need a getaway. I’m still trying to figure out how I can squeeze that in, because we are way overdue for a catch-up. I’m hoping the answers will reveal themselves soon. I don’t do very well without some basic plan, and I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants now since December. I hate it.
Amanda and I did chat on the phone last week. That might not seem like a big deal to you, but I think I can count on one hand the amount of times we’ve done so since January. Times have indeed been tough. I welcomed her phone call though, and it was good to hear her voice. She gave me a little shred of hope that life WILL return to some sort of normalcy, because she asked me one question that snapped me back into my typical, Duranie-self.
“Got any plans for summer of 2020?”
Wow. I can’t even plan for next month, right now. It is a very strange feeling, after living in the same place for twenty years, to know that in 2020, I have no idea where I’ll be living. Where will I be when Amanda and I are planning and plotting? Forget all of that, where is my family going to spend Christmas this year? It is SO weird to know it’s probably not going to be in this house. (For that matter, we just got rid of our 9-ft tall artificial Christmas tree, so….) So no, Amanda, I don’t have plans for 2020. I’m sure I’m about to make some, though!
She went on to tell me about the Katy Kafe with John Taylor and how he gave a full laundry list of ideas they had for celebrating their 40th and so on. I hadn’t even had time to listen to the Kafe at that point last week, so I welcomed her explanation of how it all went down. John talked about having some sort of show in Birmingham, and that was as far as she got before I stopped her. “We are going!”
Sure, John might have lofty ideas. Chances are, nothing he wants to do will actually come to full fruition. That isn’t really the point though, at least not for me. I need something. I need something to give me some motivation to get through what I think has to be one of the most stressful life events: moving.
The weekend before last, Walt and I took every single box down out of our attic. Turns out that he wasn’t lying when he said I was a packrat. Somehow, I’d saved nearly every single thing my kids touched as babies (and what’s weird is that I know I’ve given away a ton of stuff to charity over the years!). I went through box after box, blinking back tears on occasion. It was awful. I’m beginning to come to the realization that not only are we moving, but we’re closing a chapter on the childhoods of my two oldest kids. I am not a fan. I’m overly emotional at times, downright sentimental at others, and suffering from hot flashes at the same time. God, I love middle age.
So for me, even the possibility of going to London, Birmingham or pretty much anywhere during the summer of 2020 is incentive for me to get my act together, get this house moved and my family settled. I have two years to make it all happen. I want to see friends, I want to go back to places I enjoy. I want to actually live. Right now, I feel like I’m just closing up shop to move on. I’m looking forward to getting past it.
Yes, I know how quickly other fans want to pee in my bowl of cornflakes (I hate cold cereal anyway), but you know – it’s OK to let fans just have some hope. Why not? Is it really hurting anyone? The same goes with the band recording a new album – does it really hurt anyone to have hope that they’ll record again? I mean, as a fan, why wouldn’t you want to believe that they’re not completely finished? It’s the one thing I’ve never really understood about people. Hope is a powerful motivator, and you know – I need it. So I’m tucking it into my pocket, and grabbing another box to fill.
There are mornings that I sit down to this laptop and don’t really know where to begin. I’m feeling that way right now. Beginnings are simply just a starting point. It is what happens after that decision to begin that matters most. Sometimes, those auspicious beginnings aren’t even noticed at the time. The notice comes much later.
Today, very much in hindsight, we celebrate one of those beginnings, although I’m not sure we should really call it a beginning. On this day in 1980, Duran Duran opened for a band named Fashion at the Rum Runner in Birmingham.
There does seem to be some confusion on social media about what this day actually represents. It was not the first gig Duran Duran played with the classic lineup, for example. That came a bit later, in July of 1980. (see the timeline on duranduran.com)
This was also not the first gig Duran Duran played. Their first show was nearly a year earlier, at Birmingham Polytechnic, on April 5, 1979. The band formed during the year prior – in 1978 – although as we all know, it was not yet with the lineup we all recognize.
What this day does represent, however; was the first Duran Duran gig at the Rum Runner, at least to the best knowledge of those who painstakingly compiled the full Duran Duran tour list on dd.com. We know that John, Nick and Roger were there that night, along with Jeff Thomas singing (Simon didn’t audition until May), and Alan Curtis on guitar (Andy didn’t answer the Melody Maker ad until April). They opened for Fashion, a band we don’t often hear about, who also rehearsed at the Rum Runner. It’s kind of wild to think that at one point, Duran Duran was opening for other club bands. Yet as time wore on, Duran Duran became the band to be remembered.
It is somewhat apropos that a picture of Roger visiting the site was posted and tweeted recently. It is difficult to think about that area of Birmingham and not smile. I’m sure that has got to be the same reaction that many of you have, and I’m thankful we can all share those kinds of “memories”, even if we weren’t all there in person. I think of the Rum Runner as a special place in my own history, yet I really didn’t know anything of it other than what I read until much later in life.
When I think about places I wished I’d experienced, the Rum Runner comes to mind every time. Yeah, I would have loved being in that club and part of that scene (although I think in reality we all know just from looking at me that I’d have never quite fit in). I would have loved every second of watching the band grow and come into their own. Of course, I write that full-well knowing that the appreciation of such things only comes with hindsight. Even so, I find myself wishing I could have been there to have been a part of it all from the start.
Was this show really a beginning? I’m not really sure. As I’m writing this, I can certainly see why the band hasn’t announced an exact date of anniversary to celebrate DD40. Do they celebrate the moment John and Nick decided to start a band? What about the first gig – and if they do, is it really the “beginning” when more than half of the members weren’t even a part of it yet? What about the first gig at the Rum Runner? How about the first gig that the classic lineup we all know and recognize played together? It is all very vague, yet—at least in my opinion—all worthy of celebration.
Then again, maybe I’m just in the mood for a party.
To me, this date marks the beginning of the Rum Runner era for Duran Duran, and provides a perfectly good reason to post this video of Planet Earth filmed at the Rum Runner. I love this video because up until the DVD for Greatest was released, I’d never seen it – so it was a complete surprise (and an Easter Egg on the DVD)! I don’t think I had seen many pictures of what the Rum Runner looked like on the inside before I saw this, so when I watch the video, I really try to absorb the vibe. In a weird way, it is a little reminiscent of the club I used to go to on the Redondo Beach pier while I was in college, called Fashions. I love it!
I’m sure most Duranies have seen this video by now, but it’s still one of my favorites. I love the idea of watching the video, imagining what it was like in the club on any given night while the band played. I don’t know very many fans who were Rum Runner regulars back in the day, but can you imagine being one of them, watching Duran Duran skyrocket to fame? If you haven’t seen the video, what better day to watch?!?
This morning, good ole Facebook reminded me of what I was doing and where I was six years ago today through the following picture:
Yes, six years ago today, Rhonda and I were seeing Duran Duran play at the LG Arena in Birmingham, England. Funny enough, every time I think about it, I have to pinch myself to remind me that this really did, indeed, happen. Looking back at that show and that tour, two big ideas come to mind. First, the phrase “all you need is now” pops up, the idea of just living in the moment. Then, there is the significance of that trip and place for my personal fandom.
In 2011, we went to the UK twice. Of course, the first trip, in May, did not go as planned to say the least. Simon lost his voice and the shows we held tickets for were canceled. We pushed through, made the best of the situation, and ignored the worry that we had seen the end of Duran. Thus, when the shows were rescheduled, we didn’t hesitate to jump at the chance to go back. Looking back on that decision, I cannot remember pondering the decision very long. I didn’t debate the pros and cons of doing another UK trip. Normally, when shows are announced, I go through the internal checklist. Is the date one in which I can attend? If it is during the school year, can I take off? Do I have the money to go? Will someone be around to check in on the cat? That time, though, those questions weren’t really even asked. We leaped before we looked, definitely.
Was that wise of us? Probably not. After all, I had struggled with work to be able to go the first time. Then, during the same month of the trip, I had the chance to go to an Obama White House holiday party. Would I be able to do both? I assumed that I would for some crazy reason. In hindsight, everything worked out and worked out easily. It wasn’t anything like the struggle I had in May to be able to go. Was I lucky? Beyond. It almost felt like it was meant to be.
What lesson did I learn from this trip? The message I received, I think, is that, at times, I just have to go with my gut. I shouldn’t think everything to death or assume that it cannot or should not happen. When there is an opportunity for something amazing, I gotta go with it. I am all for having responsibilities and being responsible, but… (Seriously, people who know me know that I’m hyper responsible. Is that from teaching for over 20 years? Maybe. Campaigning for political candidates? Possibly.) Was it super weird for me not to think about my obligations? Yes, but it is good for me–not only to be able to enjoy some crazy good times but also to let myself live a little.
Both trips meant a great deal to me. On the first trip with the canceled shows, I gained an insight into the band and my fandom that I would not have had otherwise. Rhonda and I had to make the best out of an extremely disappointing situation. While I don’t know that I would say that it was the most fun, it was the most eye-opening. The extra time meant that we could walk around Birmingham and get a real sense of where the band came from. That humanized them in a way that I didn’t think possible. They were no longer just celebrities but people, humans. This idea was reinforced by seeing them outside of their studio when they were open about the situation and how they were feeling about it. I felt honored to have been there.
Fast forward almost 7 months later and the dream was finally fulfilled. We got to see the band play in their hometown. I still get goosebumps just thinking about it. While the show was not the best I had ever been to, it was monumental to me. As a kid, I remember thinking about how exotic Birmingham sounded to me. My family was not well off and any vacations we took typically took us to a nearby state, if that. We never traveled by plane (I took my first flight at 17!) and I didn’t know anyone who went overseas. So Birmingham sounded so unusual to me. I couldn’t even imagine what it was like and I never expected to find myself there once, forget about more than once. What did I discover about the city? It really felt like a lot of the industrial northern cities here do. As someone who grew up in the south side of Chicago, it felt almost familiar. I realized that I actually liked it and would love to spend more time there, which is not what I expected at all.
Six years have gone by. My fandom grew stronger from those trips. One thing is certain. I’ll hold on to those memories for the rest of my life.
On this date in 2011, some of the longest “waiting” of my life began. Duran Duran was to play the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle that evening, and was the first show to be canceled during the All You Need is Now tour. Here’s the original announcement from DDHQ:
(from duranduran.com) Singer Simon Le Bon has today been diagnosed with a throat infection that is forcing the band to postpone their Newcastle Arena show that was scheduled for tomorrow, May 18. All fans should hold on to their tickets. Details of the rescheduled date will be forthcoming within the next couple of days.
I can remember hearing about this show being canceled. I can still feel the shock waves that reverberated through my body when my friend called to tell me the bad news that day. Every one of my hairs stood on end and I really didn’t know what to do.
Amanda and I, along with two of our friends, were to fly to the UK to see shows in Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool and London. We were leaving in less than 48 hours for what was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime. I had an afternoon flight from LAX on the 20th and would arrive in London the 21st. I’d meet Amanda and the rest of our friends that day and we booked a car to drive us to Birmingham. We would stay at the Birmingham Malmaison in a very fancy suite that we’d spent a bundle to book, and continue on from there. It was going to be the second time I’d been to the UK, and the first time I’d ever flown outside the country without Walt. For me, the trip was huge.
I stood there by my stairs, listening to my friend rant on and on about what my choices were and whether or not she thought I should still “chance it” and make the trip. All I could do was stand there, bite my nails, and hope it was a one-time thing and that Simon would be fine for the next show, which was in Glasgow the following day.
Of course, it wasn’t. The next day, it was announced that Glasgow would be canceled. I was to leave the very next day, and this was about the time I began to panic. I think I kind of knew our shows would be canceled, but I held out hope until the following day, literally minutes before I left my house. My bags were packed and I was waiting for my husband to arrive home to take me to LAX so I wouldn’t have to leave my car. I believe I got a phone call from one of our friends, who alerted me to the latest announcement from Duran Duran, canceling the next three shows….all three of which I was supposed to attend.
I remember thinking about what my options were that day, but my husband quickly quelled any plans I had to stay home. “You’ve already got your plane ticket. You’re going.” I knew he was right. It was a lot to give up, and at the time, there was still that London show. It was possible he’d be able to do that, right? I gathered my things, made my flight and hoped for the best.
As we all know, the entire UK tour was canceled, so no – London didn’t happen. It was months before Simon was in the clear and able to perform again. The trip itself was good, but strange. In some bizarre way, I think going over there and experiencing the cancellation with people who understood how I felt was oddly comforting. Amanda and I tried our best to make the trip fun, and parts of it were. For me personally, the trip was cathartic. I can say that I came back home as a completely different person. A totally different fan.
I’m still annoyingly critical, sarcastic and judgmental. I still make plenty of rookie errors when dealing with the public. But, the love I have for Duran Duran is far, far different now. I think that trip made me see them as humans. Finally. Not every fan wants that. Some want to keep the band on their pedestal as perfect, mystical beings. That’s fine. It just wasn’t the path I wanted. I can’t say it’s helped with my writing or even the blog (I have still upset fans in the past and will likely do so again at some point), but I think maybe the trip gave me a little more perspective.
Later that year, Amanda and I went back, this time seeing shows and experiencing all that a Duran Duran tour in the UK had to offer. The memories from that trip are wonderfully happy and I’m glad I went back. However, the trip that taught me the most was the one that didn’t go as planned. Maybe there’s something to that.
Well, the spring run of shows is over, and the band has gone back to England.
I feel a little deflated, and yet my shows ended weeks ago. If that weren’t enough, I’ve seen a few people comment that they’ve never seen a tour happen this way – and so that must mean it’s farewell.
Oh come on now. Really?
First of all, I’ve seen a lot of tours like this. As in, most, if not all of them. The band always adds dates here and there, at least for as long as I’ve been actively paying attention. They do first, second…sometimes third and even fourth “legs”, and Duran Duran is FAR from the only band in the universe to do this. As John Taylor said recently in an interview, sometimes dates (like the South American shows) come up, and they have to get their whole group together, and so it just makes sense to add in a few more shows to make the trips worthwhile. I’m not going to find fault with that kind of sanity.
Second, if we’re talking about the fact that they haven’t gone many other places aside from the UK, Italy, the US and now South America – again I have to say it’s about money. Like it or not, the band has bills to pay, and they only go where they’re being paid to go. I know it’s hard to imagine, but the cost involved with doing a world tour – a real world tour – are staggering. They can’t just fly to Australia and do one show, and they can’t do more than that if promoters and bookers aren’t getting them shows. It’s that simple, whether we want to believe it or not. Sometimes, I think Duran fans look for conspiracies that just do not exist.
Lastly, even if this is their final farewell, does it really change anything? Does it change how YOU are touring? What shows YOU are attending? For me personally, I’m going to what I can. Even if I knew it was the final countdown, I couldn’t possibly do more shows right now, even if I wanted. I mean, what more could I really want though?
I’m not the type of person that is going to sit and wait for them outside of their hotel, or at an airport. I love them, but I also feel awkward doing that stuff. I know a lot of others do, and that’s great. It’s not my thing. There is only one time I’ve asked one of them to sign something for me, and in all honesty it was Dom, it wasn’t Simon, or Roger, or anyone like that. I’m just not that kind of fan, not that I think those people are wrong or weird or anything like that – it’s just that for me, I don’t want or need much signed. I’ve been to the UK. I’ve seen Birmingham – out of everything I’ve ever done in the name of “fandom”, that was the one thing I really wanted and it lived up to every last possible expectation and then some. Truth be told, I would really like to go back to the UK again. Very much so. I don’t know if I will have a chance to take that trip though, just because of timing and family expenses (again, college is NOT CHEAP). I’ve taken long road trips with Amanda, I’ve had some wonderful experiences at shows, and I have made a lot of friends along the way. I just don’t know if there’s much else I could reasonably want, except more.
So while the idea of “farewell” bothers me, I can’t go on worrying about it looming overhead. A bit of advice my dad gave me before he died was that I needed to not worry so much about the dying. I’d call him at least a few times a week towards the end, and I’d always ask how he was feeling. It was natural, and I meant it in the most loving way possible – he was my dad and I was worried. Dad got tired of talking about how he was feeling though, because let’s face it – he already knew he was dying. It was no secret. He didn’t want to focus on the end, he just wanted to enjoy the living. So, he told me that the end was going to be just that, the end, and that none of us had much control over when that was going to be, or how that was going to transpire. What he and I could do though, was to enjoy the time we had. So I am, and I will. It was still a shock when the end arrived, and I still went through all of the same stages of grief as anyone might. But, I’m kind of glad my dad gave me that little pep talk though, because it’s come in handy more than once in the almost nine years he’s been gone. That’s my dad – watching out for me up until the very end!
Of course I’ll be wistful and sad when they stop touring. I have friends that I don’t know if I’ll see again when that time comes, even if I don’t think now is that time. I can’t imagine not seeing the band, or Dom, or even some of the roadies again. We fans have known them so long we can’t imagine not having them around and yet they really don’t know us at all. There’s really only one person in or around the band that truly knows me or my name, and I don’t even question whether or not he’ll know me in a crowd. It’s kind of like going to family reunions every time they tour or do a show, and I’ll miss those.
I think that’s really just it. Family. Somewhere along the line, this band and all of the fans that go along with them, have become a family, whether we like it or not! Some I might see as crazy uncles (there’s always one!), and others are probably related only by marriage and we don’t really know how they fit in, but they’re part of the group. I can’t imagine that feeling of family just ending, can you?
I don’t know what the band has coming next. I know that they’re coming back to California in July. I have heard rumblings of other possibilities, courtesy of the monthly Katy Kafes. I don’t think this band is quite done yet, but I’m not going to worry about that. I’m going to enjoy seeing pictures, chatting with friends, and planning for the shows I will see in July. I am going to work on a couple of projects I have going on here at home – including a high school graduation for my son, and I’m going to be reveling in the joy I have bubbling within for getting him to this point. I’m going to savor each moment as it comes, and live in gratitude for each day I’m given, and so should you.
On this date…in many of the years of Duran Duran’s career, they were on tour. They do seem to like to tour in or around December, don’t they? Even this year, they are managing to squeeze in two shows at the very end of the month, then another to welcome 2017. Who knows what might come after that. All in all, I think I’ve come to associate the happenings of late Fall and Winter with Duran Duran.
Even when I was a kid, my birthday and/or Christmas would include Duran Duran themed gifts, typically music. Then there was “Do They Know It’s Christmas” by Band Aid—as a lasting result, I can’t even think about Christmas without hearing that song in my head (a good thing).
I think about Sing Blue Silver and Nick’s now infamous line while on the phone… “I’m looking outside and it’s um….snowing.” I see that line from nearly each one of my Duran friends over the course of a winter, and I’m amused each time. Geography and personalities might divide, but the band and their history—which we all share in some fashion—unites.
On this date in 1998, Duran Duran played the Birmingham Expedition Centre with Rialto. I didn’t immediately know who or what Rialto was, so I looked them up. Turns out, they were a Britpop group of the 1990’s. Formed in 1997 and disbanded in 2002, they didn’t last long. They released just two albums during that time—a self-named Rialto in 1998 and Night on Earth in 2000 along with an EP titled Girl on a Train, also in 2000. However short-lived, they were lucky enough to perform at the Birmingham Expedition Centre with Duran Duran.
This was also the tour where Duran Duran played Secret Oktober very slowly. I don’t have video from Birmingham but I did find one from Wembley.
It is Sunday, which means that it is time to recap all the Duran Duran news. In general, things are mostly quiet on the Duran Duran front, but as Rhonda and I were saying this weekend, there is a feeling that things could get busy sooner rather than later. We shall see!
January’s Collector Corner
This month’s Collection Corner focused on the single, Save a Prayer. While we all may know the song and love it, I enjoyed reading the collector’s corner to not only remind me of the history of the single but also to find out how many versions are out there! The answer, of course, is many! Here is my little Save a Prayer story. When it was re-released in 1985, it was often featured in these daily (weekly?) contests on MTV where the video would go against another video. My best friend, at the time, and I were determined that Save a Prayer was going to win. Thus, we called and we called and we called again until the voting ended. Of course, this was the time when those calls cost and cost big. Needless to say, my parents were less than thrilled when the phone bill came and I had a big debt to pay off! Part of me didn’t mind too much, though, as Duran won! It seemed worth it to me!
January’s Katy Kafe with John Taylor
Members of DuranDuranMusic, the band’s paid fan community site, enjoyed the latest Katy Kafe with John. He did give some insight into making the album and there was some discussion about a few shows in the summer. Rhonda, of course, covered all of the highlights for all of us in her blog post on Friday. I will tell you this much. The kafe and Rhonda’s guess about festivals certainly has me thinking. If they really only do festivals, what am I going to do? Will I choose to sit this one out as I have sworn off festivals? Would I try to go but do the festival in a less painful way than I have other festivals in the past coughVoodoocough? I don’t have the answer yet but desperation, sometimes, calls for desperate acts!
A new Ask Katy question was posted on the band’s official website this week and focused on what the band thought about other bands from the Birmingham area that have been successful. John gives the response and it might not be what you would think!
Last, but not least, don’t forget that Duran Duran is performing on February 19th in London to support the charity organization, War Child, which works to help children affected by war. Details on how to get a chance for tickets is below and copied from the band’s Facebook:
For your chance to be entered into a lottery for tickets, and to help save children from war, go to http://warchild.org.uk/passport. Every £4.50 donation enters you into the draw to win a pair of tickets. Or text DURAN to 88450 (UK only, texts cost £4.50)
I know that if I was anywhere near close to London, I would be trying for tickets with a venue that size!!!
Is there anything I missed? If so, drop me a comment!
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!
An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!