Tag Archives: Boys on Film

Front Row Podcast and Friendship

Do you listen to a lot of podcasts?  I don’t but I have many friends who love them.  That said, I’m always open to listening to one if it features members of Duran Duran.  Last week, the BBC Podcast called, Front Row, included a ten minute (or so) segment with John and Roger Taylor.  Of course, the purpose was to advertise the two TV specials, Something You Should Know and Boys on Film, that aired on Friday.  Whenever something airs outside of the U.S., I always worry that I won’t be able to see/hear it.  Luckily, though, a friend ensured that Rhonda and I could!

The Front Row podcast began by sharing the fact that the famous author, Neil Gaiman, first published work was, indeed, a biography of Duran Duran.  (That book costs a lot of money to buy, BTW.  Right now, you could buy a copy on Amazon for a cheap $157.)  Anyway, the podcast continued by discussing some of the highlights and lowlights of Duran’s career to introduce Roger and John.  The conversation, much like the documentary, runs in chronological order of the band’s career, obviously starting in the 1970s.  Interestingly enough, in describing punk, John talked about how the youth of that time were rebelling against their parents, the war generation.  That sort of made me sad as the World War II generation accomplished a lot like defeating fascism.  Nonetheless, I understood what he was saying.  Roger followed up talking about how all the family in his family held manual labor jobs.  In looking at his life, he acknowledged that just a couple of changes in his life or the band’s and he, too, could have been a manual laborer.  He’s really right.  Little moments and choices add to one’s life and any changes could make a big difference.

From there, they go on to discuss other topics, including the influence of glam and technology, the affects of having female teen fans, creating the James Bond theme song for A View to a Kill, the split in the mid-1980s, and advice for the young.  Which topic do you think caught most of my attention?  Yep.  I was most interested in what they would have to say about having female teen fans.  The interviewer directly asked if having female teen fans hurt the band when it came to the critics?  Roger acknowledged that it did.  He commented that it put them in a box with critics which resulted in having the music overlooked.  I don’t disagree with him at all.  That said, I wanted more.  Maybe I felt compelled to go deeper so I yelled  out in my living room the following (like Roger could hear me):  “Why is that Roger?  Why does having female teen fans mean that the music would be overlooked?  What would critics assume?”  So, what did  I mean about all of that?  Simple.  If a band has a lot of female teen fans, the assumption was that the band could not really play.  The only reason that female teens would like a band is because they were cute, not that they were talented musicians.  The implication, of course, was that female teens couldn’t judge music.  They weren’t smart enough, according to (probably) male critics.  Obviously, I think those assumptions are a bunch of bull.  I’m not sorry that I was a part of that group of fans, but I am sorry that sexism towards their female following hurt the band with the critics.

Overall, I enjoyed the podcast even though I wished it was longer and that I might have chosen a few different questions.  For example, I don’t think I would have asked about A View to a Kill because I have heard/read a lot about that.  I appreciate the discussion of the band’s origins but I would love to hear them analyze the reunion, for example, or the music industry.  All of that said, I completely appreciate our friend, Debbie, sending the podcast to us.  It means the world to us to know that there are people who know/understand how much we love Duran and want to be able to enjoy all media about the band.  It reminds me of what is really great about fandom when fans look out for each other.  Thanks again, Debbie, for both the podcast as well as the reminder.

I loved having new Duran stuff to write and talk about this weekend. Definitely added some joy when it was most needed.

-A

I’ve Seen You on TV: Duran Duran on BBC Four

Watch anything good lately?  Do anything fun?  I did!  Yesterday, I was able to catch the two new specials on Duran Duran that aired on BBC Four.  Thanks to friends who pointed me to tvcatchup.com I was able to watch!  I had to watch while the shows aired, which was fine.  Luckily, I had time to do so.  As I watched, Rhonda did as well, which allowed us to exchange our reactions via Twitter and text messages.  If you haven’t had to chance to watch, I recommend heading over to Duran Duran Argentina’s Facebook page here as both videos can be found there!

When thinking about this blog, I pondered which direction should I go.  Should I review the shows themselves?  I could even though I didn’t watch for that purpose.  No, I wanted to just enjoy.  That doesn’t mean that I didn’t take notice to various things like neither Warren nor Dom weren’t mentioned or that whole albums were left out.  Yet, I didn’t want to let those things bother me.  Therefore, I don’t think I want to review the shows in that way.  I could at a later time but…not right now.  I would want to rewatch them first before, anyways.

Clearly, the focus of the blog has to be something else.  After I got done watching yesterday, I tried to get back to my to do list but I found myself thinking about how much has changed and what hasn’t.  When we started this blog, we had this idea that we would celebrate fandom, work to understand it as well as do the same with Duran Duran and our fan community.  This meant that we were critical at times, held up mirrors to ourselves and fellow fans, etc.  Looking back, fandom felt super important to me.  It was at the top of my list. Now, I cannot say the same.  It has nothing to do with Duran Duran or even fandom.  No, it has more to do with my life and circumstances out of my control.  My priorities have changed, which has caused my relationship with fandom to shift.

When fandom was essential, I felt like I had the freedom, the time, the ability to be a critical thinker, to be someone who loves to analyze what I saw, heard and read.  Now, fandom needs to do something different for me.  It must be the source of joy, fun, and love.  As Rhonda and I watched the shows yesterday, both of us were reminded of why we love this band so much.  When I watch shows that capture the band’s history, not only do I get to hear so much great music but I’m also reminded of their history, which in many ways feels like mine.  As the band talked about Ordinary World, for example, I instantly thought back to when that song captured my attention and meant the world to me as I adjusted to a significant change.  When the reunion came up, Rhonda right away pointed that this is when our story started.  All of this fills my heart with a joy that I struggle to describe.

Then, of course, the history of the band was followed with the band members sharing their influences.  Before that show started, I didn’t know if I was going to like it.  I worried it would be them introducing something and then watching that something for awhile.  I figured that the band would be talking only for a couple of minutes.  Instead, it was like watching a conversation between them, reminding me of the clear friendship between them.  Likewise, it showed their personal sides rather than the famous, rock star sides.  I loved it.

What did all of this tell me?  Some things have not changed.  I love Duran Duran as much as I ever have.  The best time is sharing that love with friends even if it is just through social media or text messaging.  That said, because of where I am at, fandom, Duran Duran needs to stay in that “joy only” box.  I cannot see myself getting upset about any little detail that might have annoyed me or made me question this, that or the next before.  No, Duran is just going to be my fun, happy place.

-A

Duran Duran Take Over BBC4 and More!

I am going to blog as quickly as I can here.  I apologize that this blog post is pretty late.  While I had good intentions on getting this done earlier or even last night, it didn’t happen.  I suck.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a great reason for that.  Life is both busy and not and I’m struggling to find a good rhythm during the summer.  That said, two things I wanted to address here.  First, I know that I’m typing this a few minutes before Duran Duran “takes over” BBC Four.  Second, it appears that Duran has been busy playing a gig!  Let’s talk about these one at a time.

In case you have been busy, away from all social media, living under a rock, on vacation, abducted by aliens, or anything else that equals missing out on Duran news, BBC Four in the UK is the channel to tune into (if you can!) as the night is all about Duran Duran on film!  The official press releases describes the event in the following way:

In Boys on Film – A Night with Duran Duran, iconic British rock band, Duran Duran, are set to take over BBC Four on Friday 29 June from 9pm. With exclusive access to the band, the night features two newly-filmed documentaries which showcase incredible insights, previously unseen archive footage and rare demo tapes, as well as the group’s thoughts and inspirations across the decades since they first formed in 1978 in Birmingham.

In Duran Duran: There’s Something You Should Know (9-10pm) Back2back Productions has been granted exclusive access to the legendary group. Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor and Roger Taylor open up about their extraordinary career, talking more candidly than ever before about the highs and lows they have endured together over the years.

Duran Duran: A Night In (10-11pm) sees the group talking about their early inspirations, as they look back together at the television programmes, music and film that they grew up on from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but if I were in the UK, I would probably have some friends over, pour some drinks and enjoy these two little programs together.  I suspect that there might be squeeing along with various commentary and an overall sense of excitement and joy.  I could use a little bit of that now.  That said, many of us are not there.  As an optimist, I’m hopeful that it might be available outside of the UK sooner rather than later.  (Please and thank you.)

On a different note, yesterday, I was trying to organize and clean my bathroom when I noticed Duran’s official twitter become pretty active.  I stopped and pondered…what the heck is that all about?  The tweets feature pictures and videos with the hashtags #wildpop, #bulgari, and states “when in Rome.”  Huh?  According to an article on WWD, which you can read here, Duran played at this Rome based company’s celebration of their jewelry collection.  Apparently, this jewelry is inspired by the 80s, which is cool.  If you are missing Duran live as much as I am or want to see some of the videos from this private party, I recommend flocking over to the band’s official social media!

Watching the clips from this show/party reminds me that last year at this time I was counting down the days to see Duran in Oakland and San Francisco.  It amazes me how different things feel in just a year.  Yet, Duran is a constant, a positive constant.  While I always appreciate them, I suspect that that feeling will only grow from here.

-A

Duran Duran Bootlegs

I’m officially on summer break now, or as I call it, “Retirement 2.0”.  While I’m supposedly enjoying my time off, I’m also cleaning out, organizing, and packing up the house. I’m not sure how successful the tasks are going so far, because my house still looks pretty much the same, but currently in my garage I have about thirty-two black and yellow large bins from Costco that are stacked four high and about four deep. Moving has been wonderfully cleansing so far, and I’m not even done yet.

While I’m at home, my husband Walt lives in Santa Barbara during the week. Often, I will get texts from him exploring new places, and I won’t lie – I’m a little envious as I’m cleaning out the closet, packing up my office, or weeding in the backyard. This past Monday though, I got a very curious picture from him.

He had been wandering around State Street during lunch, and found himself in a record store. He is apparently far better trained than I realized, because he immediately looked for any DD vinyl. When that didn’t pan out (I already have everything they had in stock), he looked at their CD’s and DVD’s. Hitting the jackpot, he texted me this picture:

Now, curiously enough, I didn’t recognize these DVD’s. Upon closer inspection, Boys on Film was filmed from an MTV appearance at New Year’s Eve Rock and Roll Ball at the Palladium in NYC 1982 (12/31/82). Then there’s Duran Duran Coachella, filmed in 2011. Lastly, there is Duran Duran San Francisco 2016, which was filmed at the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival. All of them must be bootlegs.

I didn’t ask, but Walt dutifully bought all of them anyway. They all have varying copyrights and addresses – two of them are archives (one says The Archivists Society and the other is Duran Archives, each has a different UK address), and the other is from Duran Films in New York City. I haven’t watched them yet (that is today’s assignment), but I can hardly wait to see the quality of what I am fully expecting to be shoddy iPhone video. We will see.

It turns out that only after he’d already bought these, he saw even more of these DD concert bootlegs for sale. It’s almost unnerving. I mean, Duran Duran has no control over what is being filmed and later sold, and naturally – none if this is new or even news. I just haven’t seen so much of it gathered in one actual brick and mortar store before. (I don’t get out much, apparently!)

He also picked up a CD for me, which might even be worse than the DVD’s. It’s called Duran Duran Ultra Rare Trax.  Let me just say, the trax are not rare…and the only thing “ultra” going on here are the ultra-tacky descriptions of the songs compiled on this clearly homemade CD.  Below is just a sampling of the titles and descriptions:

  • Notorious (Disconet): Title track from their 1986 LP. Pushed forward their chic influences to the fore. Cutting funk guitars and slap bass supply the backdrop to a fine Disconet Mix.
  • I Don’t Want Your Love (Prime Cuts): The Prime Cuts people get to work on this Duran Favourite, with its excellent back track it rolls on and over. Another Prime Cut.
  • Save A Prayer (DMC): A nice up-tempo dance version of this usually classic ballad. The Earliest Duran number we could find a dance version of.         (I don’t think they looked very hard, just saying.)
  • A View to a Kill (Art of Mix) 007 meets POP! Duran go big screen. A great track given the Art of Noise treatment.
  • Duran (Megamix) The first time ever DMC mix available for the first time on CD format. Previously a cassette 1984 release. Coupling together some Duran classics – Is There Something I Should know, Planet Earth, Girls on Film, Rio, among others.

It goes on from there. Writing is clearly not this bootlegger’s forte. I can hardly wait to listen, though.

I’m not one to encourage bootlegging, but I have to admit I’m more than a little amused to sit down and watch some fairly recent Duran Duran shows. I can’t think of a better way to spend my break – particularly since the alternative involves more packing!

Is there a place for bootlegs in the industry? On one hand, the band seems to have no control over what is filmed and sold – and the economic impact to them is pretty clear. I mean, it is their music and their image, and it seems wrong that they shouldn’t get some royalty from that. On the other though, there are people out there may actually want videos from shows they attended, or maybe even for those who can’t get themselves to places in the world where the band has played.

What about unreleased music? I own Duran Goes Dutch, which is a fairly rare and collectible vinyl that isn’t official at all. The music is rare because the songs are arranged very differently. The band didn’t necessarily take advantage to press that vinyl, but someone else did. Fans like me have benefitted from being able to own the record. I’ve also read that bands, perhaps not Duran Duran – I really can’t say, have bootlegged their own material at times because their label wouldn’t commit resources to doing so for various reasons. It’s a sticky situation, not nearly as black and white as it may seem, and I definitely am not claiming to know the ins and outs. The issue is certainly worthy of discussion.

I’m going to sit and think about all of this while I watch my new videos today!

-R