Tag Archives: Careless Memories book

It’s Roger Taylor’s Birthday!

As I glanced at my calendar this morning, I realized that it is Roger Taylor’s birthday!!  Wasn’t his birthday just like a week ago?  Is it me or does it seem like time is passing faster and faster?  Anyway, birthdays provide a good time to celebrate our favorite drummer!

Recently, Roger Taylor has been in a Duran Duran news spotlight as he attended the exhibition on Denis O’Regan’s book, Careless Memories, at the Malmaison Hotel in Birmingham and did an interview with the Birmingham Mail there.  You can read the entire interview here.  I’ll comment on a few things that caught my attention!

Tour & Fame

I think Roger’s description of their fame in 1984 matches descriptions I have heard from other band members.  He says it was like being on a “runaway train” as all these people were involved in the day-to-day life of the band.  I am sure that is true and I can’t imagine how out-of-control they must have felt.  Yes, I’m sure the fame was great but…it sounds scary in some ways to me.  I would want to be control of what happens to me, whenever possible.

Fans

Roger stated that teenage fans “want every part of you” and that there is constant exposure but stated how would be worst now with technology.  I had a number of questions to follow up.  What does it mean to “want every part of you”?  (Get your heads out of the gutter, kids.  I wasn’t thinking that… but apparently you all were!)  Then, I wonder how it is different now to have adult fans.  Do we demand the same level of intensity or is it different or less?

Left and Return

Roger talked about how he was similar to Zayn Malik from One Direction, in that they both left their bands in order to live a “normal life”.  Roger went on to say, though, that no matter what he was always going to be Roger Taylor of Duran Duran.  The title always followed him.  I suspect that is true with anyone famous.  I also think is is true of anyone who becomes well-known for something that they do.  For example, I would always be known in my community as a teacher.  It just happens.  He said that he needed to “embrace” that role rather than fight it.  I suspect that is a lesson that a lot of us could learn.

Duran Plans

The upcoming album was discussed.  I didn’t read anything new or exciting on that front.  It is too bad that he didn’t want to share some news, though!  He mentioned the festivals that Duran Duran has coming up.  Strangely, he mentioned something about coming back to the U.S. in July.  I wish I knew what he was talking about there!  Anyone know?!?

While this interview didn’t provide anything super exciting, it did one thing for me as a fan.  It reminded me that Roger wasn’t always with the band and that I should appreciate the fact that he is here now.  I shouldn’t take him or his role in the band for granted.  Duran Duran is MUCH better with Roger and I am thankful he came back and continues to stay.

On that note, Rhonda and I would like to wish Roger a VERY, VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

-A

 

Careless Memories – Is It Worth the Price?

Over the weekend, I found myself in a healthy discussion regarding the Denis O’Regan photo book – Careless Memories. I haven’t personally ordered a copy of the book, but I know a few other fans that ordered a copy of Careless Memories and seem very pleased. The discussion centered around whether or not we’d buy the book even if money were not an option. All who participated in the conversation felt the book to be incredibly expensive and certainly out of reach of many fans. There are always those that will buy whatever is being offered at whatever price point; but for many, price dictates.

Last week, someone sent a question in to Ask Katy about Careless Memories, inquiring whether it was truly worth the price (we’re talking anywhere from £250 on up to £2500). Katy’s reply gave details about the special nature of the book and it’s construction. She closed stating that while it is certainly an investment, isn’t all art (an investment)?

Not only do I appreciate art, I am a certified Decorative Arts Appraiser. That means I’ve been trained to learn how to use market data to assign value to decorative art (paintings and drawings, photographs, sculptures, pop culture memorabilia or yes…gems and jewelry). I know what art is, and to be completely fair, the very question of what is considered “art” is pretty subjective, although there is a vague framework to help define.  Art must be unique if not also rare, it must have beauty, and by some definitions it must be a human expression or application of emotion. The door is left VERY wide open as to what may or may not be considered art, and of course what might be art to one person might not be to someone else. Does Careless Memories fit that bill?

We traded ideas over whether or not the very fact that the book (or photos within) is mass-marketed should make a difference. After all, many works of art have millions of prints made – but are those prints still considered art, or mass-media representations?There’s definitely room for discussion over whether Careless Memories in it’s mass-marketed form (not the original photos themselves, but the book as a whole) really is a good example of art. Are they priced as such and do they hold that value well? In that case, are prints of artwork still an investment? The fact is, being willing to spend £1000 or more on a larger format photo book doesn’t necessarily make that book an investment…although I’d probably argue that to a willing fan, it absolutely is, regardless of whether it is a good investment, or otherwise. However, that is an emotional definition, not wholly factual.

While I hold no resentment about Careless Memories or my decision not purchase a copy, it is clearly being marketed AT fans with the pricing being out of the reach of most. Then again, isn’t most art that way? Warhol isn’t necessarily “cheap” pop art. Even Thomas Kincaid, one of the most mass-marketed kitsch artists ever – isn’t “cheap” by any means if you’re talking about Artist-handled prints. Let’s face it, the band knows exactly what they are doing here, and we really cannot fault them – because ultimately it is in the hands of each of us to decide whether or not to play the game and make these purchases. It puts fans in the position of having to decide how much the band means to them personally,  and it ends up being an emotionally charged purchase, one the band “banks” on, so to speak.

As is typical, there are always fans willing to pay. I checked the website for Careless Memories late last week, and the most expensive editions of the book (“Unique” and “Special” editions), ones that include things such as (not each book contains all things mentioned – these are simply examples) “golden tickets”, meet and greets with the band, special prints direct from 1984 negatives, and personally signed copies of photos and books, were sold out or “unavailable”.  These ranged in price from £1000-£2500.  Even the least expensive edition – “Collector”, has a very hefty price tag of £250 – not a price most fans can even consider, especially at this time of year. Yet when I look at how many books are available in that edition – very few are sold, perhaps an indication that the price is just out of reach.  Fandom continues, in many respects, to be an excellent real-life example of the “haves” and “have-nots”.

While I’ve had the good fortune to do many things consistent with the “haves” column, in the case of Careless Memories I am definitely in the “have-not” column. Not spiteful, not resentful (there’s no point), but I do find myself questioning the tag of  “investment”.  I suppose though, that makes the difference between a buyer and a bystander.

-R