Tag Archives: Birmingham

Newcastle show canceled, 2011. Do you remember??

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.

-R

You Won’t Miss Me When I’m Gone

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.

-R

Do You Remember – Duran Duran Birmingham 1998

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.

 

 

Do you remember?

-R

 

 

Duran Duran News: 1/19 to 1/25/15

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!

 Birmingham Legends

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!

War Child

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:

Duran Duran is performing a show for War Child UK the 300 capacity Wilton’s Music Hall on February 19th.

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!

-A

My Top Ten Fandom Moments

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 cThe Reflex Coveronstant 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
John socksHow 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 wBirminghamhen 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
3b3ed-duranduran_all-you-need-is-nowIt 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 asIHOP 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.
BrightonI’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 John Wristbandover, 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.
ARmanuscriptI 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 fDurham drunkriendship(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!

-A

Today in Duran History – Birmingham CD Signing

On this date in 2004, Duran Duran held a CD signing party at the HMV in Birmingham.  What were they signing?  They were signing copies of Sunrise (thanks for the correction, UK friends), of course!  They held a few of these for this album and did, at least, one for Red Carpet Massacre in 2008.  I am not sure why they don’t do more.  They are able to sell more albums that way, as attendees typically need to buy a copy in order to attend, in order to have something to get signed.  Then, it is a quick and controlled way for many fans to be able to have a moment or two of face-to-face time with their favorite band.  Positive interactions with the band, or any celebrity of choice, tend to reinforce fandom!!

Was anyone at this particular signing?  Anyone want to share their story?  I know that there are scenes of this signing on the Astronaut Dual Disc but it isn’t the same as hearing from fans who were there!  So, if you were there, start talking!

-A

This Week in Duranland (September 22 to September 28, 2014)

I’m hoping that this post comes out coherently and clear.  I apologize, in advance, if it doesn’t as I’m typing this with a significant fever.  For the record, I never get fevers and I hate being sick.  Despite my illness, let’s check into Duranland this past week.  What happened?  What did you miss if you weren’t paying attention or if you were sick like me!?

Unstaged On Demand!
According to the press release on duranduran.com, Duran Duran’s Unstaged will be available On Demand in the United States and Canada on October 14th!  Thus, you can watch it from your own living room then!  I would also recommend checking out the band’s YouTube page for extras!

Birmingham Music
Duran Duran was one of many artists featured in a little news article on famous bands/artists coming from the city of Birmingham, which you can read here.

Austin Auction
There are two online auctions to meet Duran and to get 2 VIP tickets for their show in Austin as part of the Grand Prix Formula1 Fan Fest.  This auction is in support of Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research.  The other auction is for Sweet Relief Musicians Fund.

Geneu Beauty U
Nick has a new project!  He is the creative director for Geneu, which is a beauty company that focuses on anti-aging products, in particular.  Read about it here!

Duran Duran & Nile Rodgers
Billboard.com featured an article about the collaboration of Duran and Nile for the upcoming Duran Duran album.  I highly recommend reading this article.  I loved reading about Nile’s excitement about working with Duran but I learned some things, too, including that John views this album as one with “various formulas” while Nick sees it on the dance floor.  According to the article, they are also in discussions with various labels.  Interesting.

Simon on ESPN Radio
Did you get a chance to listen to this interview?  I love how Simon puts these interviewers in their place right away!  Obviously, though, he did this interview to advertise Unstaged coming to On Demand.  Nonetheless, he certainly gave them a run for their money, which I have to admit entertained me greatly!

Social Media
John posted a couple of pictures this week from a little record store shopping at Antone’s Records in Austin, Texas.  Dom also mentioned being in Austin.  Apparently, they were playing a private gig there and, luckily, there are some videos of the performance floating around the internet.

#duranduran

A post shared by Danny Benavides (@dannybenavides) on

What else did I miss?!  Please let me know what I missed so that I can add it here!  Until then, let’s welcome in October and, hopefully, a month closer to hearing #DD14!

-A

Today in Duran History – Birmingham Conservatoire

On today’s date in 2012, Duran Duran’s John Taylor appeared at the Birmingham Conservatoire in support of his autobiography In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran.  He gave a talk on the book itself and then signed copies for those in attendance.

I am almost positive many of our readers were there – if so, post a picture of you with your book!

-R

Today in Duran History – Birmingham 1981 & Simon’s…Dancing 2009

On this date in 1981, Duran Duran played at the Odeon in Birmingham, UK.  This, of course, was the summer that John Taylor started his autobiography with as it was the first time that their shows included serious screaming!  Clearly, those attendees knew that this band was something special!

Speaking of something special, five years ago today, I had the opportunity to witness some of Simon’s…err…dancing.  The song was Skin Trade.  The venue was in Orange County, California.  Before I post the clip, I’ll be perfectly honest here.  This is exactly how I want to remember Simon LeBon!!  After all, I can’t remember laughing SO hard at a concert before or since!!!!

We tease because we love!

-A