Tag Archives: Careless Memories

Duran Duran News – 12/8 to 12/14

This week was an interesting one in terms of Duran Duran news.  While I can’t say it was quiet, did it contain a lot actual news or was it  mostly rumor?  Read on and see what you think.

John Taylor at the House of Commons

Duranduran.com reported that John Taylor visited the House of Commons (the UK equivalent to the US House of Representatives) to present a report on Addiction created by the Centre of Social Justice.  From the press release and what I read, it offers many actions that the UK government could take to work on addiction throughout the country.  Good for John for continuing his work in this area!

 December Giveaways

According to DuranDuranMusic.com, there was a winner of week one of the fan community’s giveaway, which was a signed cd.  The lucky winner was Kathy Ponder.  Congrats go out to Kathy!  Last week, they were giving away 3 2015 calendars.  This week, they are giving away three signed copies of John’s autobiography, In the Pleasure Groove.

Katy Kafe

The end of the year Katy Kafes have started!  This past week, Roger visited the Kafe.  Rhonda covered the highlights and her reaction here.

Ask Katy

There was a new Ask Katy question this week.  The focus was on Denis O’Regan’s book of photographs, Careless Memories.  We, of course, have talked about this book many times, which you can read here and here.

Gavin Elder

Maybe you are someone like me who likes to find out about the team behind the scenes working with Duran Duran.  Perhaps, you like the visual aspect of the band.  If so, then I definitely recommend watching this video on Gavin Elder, the film maker who has been working with Duran since, basically, the reunion shows.

 More Studio Work

Duran Duran’s Facebook posted a new picture from the studio this week.  John Taylor also posted some new pictures on Instagram this week, including one of him in a Santa hat.  Merry Christmas, indeed.

Studio December 2014

I think that was about it.  Yes, there were rumors.  We covered those through the week.  Until next week…

-A

 

Duran Duran News – 12/1 to 12/7

It is Sunday!  Time to recap any and all Duran Duran news from December 1st to December 7th.  This week seemed very quiet on the Duran front, from what I recall.  Am I right?  Was it a quiet one?

December Giveaways

DuranDuranMusic.com, the fan community site, is giving away something each week in December.  For the first week in December, they were giving away a signed CD.  I haven’t heard or seen if there was a winner yet, but if you were a winner, let us know so that we can cheer for you and with you!

Update from Simon!

Last week, Rhonda blogged about Duran Duran and Twitter.  Funny enough, Simon has showed up on Twitter the last couple of days.  Initially, these tweets were about Simon’s attempts to return to the “real world”, at least that is what I got out of them.  Perhaps, as part of this process, he even did a little bit of responding to people.  Then, yesterday, he posted a picture.  This wasn’t just any picture but a picture of Nick and Spike Stent (who mixes albums) with a message about how they were getting “deep in the mix”.  Now, I don’t know about the rest of you but this seems pretty exciting to me.  It means that the album really is close to being done!  Of course, they might need to deal with the record label part of the process, but it still gives me a little bit of hope that we really are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

 More Studio Time!

If Simon’s tweets weren’t enough, Duran Duran also updated the Facebook status to say, “More Studio time for Duran Duran today, #DD14 is coming! ”  Well then!  They even posted a picture.  I couldn’t resist bringing this one over here.  I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that it is of John Taylor.  😉

John Dec. 2014

 Careless Memories Gallery

Do you own a copy of Denis O’Regan’s Careless Memories photography book?  If so or if not, if you are in or near London, you might want to check out the Careless Memories Gallery from December 8 to December 14th from 9 in the morning to 9 at night to see his work and photographs of Duran Duran.

That is all of the news that I saw.  Did I miss something?  It is not shocking to any of you that the most exciting news is that the mix of DD14 is happening and they are getting work done on the album.  Truly, its release can’t come soon enough.  Although, a tour might make the wait a bit more bearable to me…

-A

November Katy Kafé With Nick Rhodes!

It is that time again! Every month, it seems as though I’ll notice that a Kafé should be coming up, then let the thought slip from my mind, and suddenly I’m reading on Twitter that it’s up and ready.

This month, Katy welcomes Nick Rhodes to the Kafé…and even prior to it being posted on duranduranmusic.com, we are told (via Katy’s twitter) that she was given an album title! So, as soon as possible, I scrambled over to DDM to listen. As always, I am going to go through the highlights. This is by no means word for word, and if you want to hear the entire Kafe (all 35 minutes worth, which was wonderful!), I highly encourage you to get your membership to duranduranmusic.com. With a new album coming next year, this is a perfect time to join and get involved!

On #DD14

Nick reports that the album is almost complete. He must have heard me verbalize, “FINALLY”…because he says that he was not surprised it has taken this much time to come to this point. Nick says that he realized that some songs come very quickly, then they start to rewrite and notice that some are better than others, and then the original songs don’t stack up as well.

“It’s just the process”

He admires other bands that are able to release more, but on the same token Nick believes that in many cases, the quality of the work isn’t always better. Perhaps taking more time with less songs and getting them right is for the best. In the time that they’ve been writing and recording, they initially have enough material for 3 or 4 albums, but whittle the songs down to one album-worth. Nick says similar has occurred with each album they’ve recorded over the years.

Even so, Nick states several times, rather emphatically, that the album is almost finished. It is currently being mixed with Spike Stent – including the work from Mr. Hudson, Mark Ronson and Nile. (to be clear, no mention was made of the work that John Frusciante did for the album, but he was not a producer – as were Mark, Nile and Mr. Hudson)

“By the second week in December, most of the album will be finished.”

All but 2-3 songs will be completed with mixing by the third week in December. One of the songs is in the process of having a lyric completed, and the other two are still on the “workbench”. Nick says they already have more than enough for one album.  He suspects that they will be completely finished in January.

So what about all of those producers? How did it feel working with each of them?  Nile and Mark have different sorts of great energy. They most recently worked with Nile on Astronaut. It is important to note that originally, they had several songs that they’d worked on with Nile for Astronaut, but in the process of narrowing down the final choices for the album – it ended up being significantly less. Nile IS playing on the album – two of the songs will definitely make the album and the other is one of the songs that is still on the workbench.  Mark, on the other hand brings a modern hand to everything they do. Nile and Mark play off of one another with a sort of Old School/New School feel. Mr. Hudson brought more to this project than anyone else. Nick says he’s an enormous talent, and open minded. Mr. Hudson does not try to produce the same album over and over again, which we should all applaud!

“One of them sounds like 70’s California driving music.” 

Nick points to the diversity on the album, and admittedly as he’s talking about the different sounds, I am groaning because I want to hear them for myself! He describes one of them as 70’s California driving music (this is important for later….remember that description!), another as early Talking Heads, and still another that has Hip Hop as a base in the track, but the melody is much more “classical” in nature, saying it’s “really different”.

Josh Blair is the engineer behind the album, working with the band since the beginning days of recording.  There is no album title as of yet, confirming that the title they’d discussed earlier is no longer on the table and he is taking suggestions. (I kind of doubt that…but just in case, I’m thinking they could probably stick with #DD14 at this point…it’s what we’ve all been calling it for years now!)

On Austin Gran Prix/Formula-One Fan Fest

Katy points out (as I make a very sad face), that this is the only public performance of 2014, and is likely to be the last time they have a setlist that does not include songs from the new album.

“When you are in the studio for a long time, the desire to play live grows.”

The live show is a whole different discipline from recording in the studio. For the Austin show, they kept the set list traditional and missed playing songs off of a new album. He expands on this idea by explaining that it used to be that they would try out the new material on audiences. (I am certain that many remember this from shows prior to Red Carpet Massacre as well as Astronaut) Nowadays though, it’s just not sensible due to piracy.  Those live versions tend to exist forever, even if they aren’t “quite right” or need reworked.  Katy asks the question I’m wondering though, “Could you have played songs from the new album though, if you’d wanted?”  Nick responds emphatically, “Yes. More than ten, actually.”  He insists that those songs are completely finished. Done.

“Sunset Garage”

We finally get a song title. It is like drinking fresh water after a long hike! Nick was sure he’d given us one last time, but after Katy coaxes, he gives us the title of the song with a 1970’s California driving-song vibe. This is one I’m anxious to hear. (Let’s be honest: I want to hear them all. Not in seven more months from now, either…but I suspect we’ll be waiting at least that long…)

On Geneu

Pronounced “Gene-you”, this is a skincare/cosmetic care company that uses your DNA in order to match the correct products with your skin. There is a brick and mortar store in London on New Bond street, and eventually there will also be online (transactional) presence. Nick brought in John Warwicker to work on graphics, and Nick has done artwork and design for the store. Antony Price designed the uniforms that the staff will wear (in-store). Before even getting to market, Geneu has won several awards, including the microchip that determines the DNA matching and the packaging for Best Packaging design in Britain. Nick states that it has been a very different experience…and it is absolutely no surprise when he says that he loves product packaging design (anyone who has ever loved the time and attention to detail that Duran Duran puts into their albums, CD’s, videos, etc. should thank Nick Rhodes).

On Frieze Masters Art Fair

Recently Nick curated an exhibit for the Frieze Masters Art Fair in London, using work from the Parisian Gallerie 1900-2000, which specializes in Surrealist/Dada art. Nick enjoyed curating and spending time choosing pieces by Man Ray, Hans Bellmer and other iconic artists of the period.

“If I had been good at painting I might have gone into that instead of music.” 

Thankfully, Nick stuck with music…although it is easy to hear how much enjoyment he received out of curating the exhibit. Katy asked Nick if he would do another, and Nick responds saying that he would, as long as he liked the genre.

On Bei Incubai, the book

Nick has a book coming out through Vinyl Factory that is a book based on the exhibit done last year. He has been working with Rory McCartney on the design, and is trying to get it all printed and available for purchase for the Christmas season. This however, is not just a photo book, as it includes silk-screens and even a vinyl record with tracks Nick has written. This project is not tied to TV Mania, although the premise is a movie that was never made. Interested? You might have to move quickly to purchase this one, as Nick stated that they only planned to print about 300 copies! My guess is that this book will not be available for the “faint of wallet”.

On Careless Memories – the Denis O’Regan photo book

This book has admittedly taken much longer to complete than the band originally planned, but Nick tells us that they are now printed, and in the process of being sent to those who painstakingly ordered them last year. Nick mentions that the book is a time capsule of 1984, and that one can really learn from the images…the clothes, the haircuts, the cars, the furniture… Thirty years beyond the photos gave fresh perspective to the band as they commented on quotes that they had made during that time period, all of which are contained in the book.

“The hysteria at the time was intense.”

Nick talks about how claustrophobic the environment really was for the band at the time, and as I listen I get the feeling that no matter how much I think I understand about that period of time – I will never have an accurate sense of what it must have been like.  No matter what I think, it was likely far worse. Katy mentions current bands like One Direction (of which Nick has very little knowledge), and then gives another example that Nick has personally witnessed: Justin Bieber.

Nick and Justin were at an event – not together mind you – but at the same event, and apparently people continually came up to Justin literally every five minutes wanting something from him. He was never just left alone, and Nick commented that he felt sorry for him. These weren’t even fans,  but grown people who should have known to leave him.  I can’t even begin to describe it the way that Nick did – to hear his reaction, in his own voice is worth the price of membership to DDM. If you have ever thought about approaching a member of the band while they ate dinner or were with family…I think hearing Nick is worth a listen.

“I’m glad we didn’t have internet”

Nick continues, commenting that having the internet during that same period of time in the 80s would have been even worse. This is no surprise, and many fans, including myself, have said similar over the years. I cannot even begin to imagine what it would have been like for the band at the time.  As it was, the hysteria was out of control, and to add the lack of privacy to it all?? Oh no. I’m glad too, Nick. Katy interjects that for people like Justin, who have simply grown up that way, it’s all he knows. I’m sure that’s true – but can you imagine having your self-image completely and totally tied up with your public persona? Some might say this is no different than DD, but it is. First of all, Justin was much younger than Duran Duran when he became a media-sensation.  He is 20 years old, and I highly doubt he even has a clear idea of who he is without the public persona. There’s no dividing line between public and private person, not to mention that the frontal lobe of his brain hasn’t even fully developed yet – that doesn’t even happen until the mid-20’s.  Katy is absolutely right, he knows nothing else, and he has no idea who he is outside of being “Justin Bieber”.  Nick says that “everyone needs privacy. Everyone needs some of that.” 

On 2015

Next year is going to be very exciting. There will be a single out, an album…“certainly some shows”.  Nick says that they are looking for different ways to approach the project (I can think of some ways to get the fans really involved if they’d care to check their inbox…just saying.) They do not have a label just yet, they are hoping to get that decided within the next couple of months, because Nick would like to plan the release of this project carefully. He says that they did as much with All You Need is Now, but of course you can only plan so much – and then the universe decides from there!

We will hear more from Nick in the year end Kafés!!

-R

 

 

New DD Calendar for 2015!

I wasn’t at all surprised to see that Duran Duran was releasing another calendar for 2015, but I was pleasantly surprised to see the photos were going to be recent, shots taken while recording #DD14 in the studio.

Last year, I was openly critical of the calendar because I felt it did a disservice to the band in their current form. Don’t get me wrong, the 80s were lovely in nearly every way, but it’s now 2014. For a band that prides themselves on not being nostalgic, why bother? Sure, we could certainly point to Careless Memories, the yet-to-be-released photo book that Denis O’Regan has been working on, and say that provided the motivation, but given that Andy was artfully removed (cropped) from every shot, overall it felt like a big attempt to reach back than a true step forward. Some might say that my comments were unsupportive of a band I claim to love. I would say that my comments are a doseof reality – whether that dosage is positive, negative or neutral. People read our blog because we’re truthful.  Being supportive does not mean being just another “yes person”. It means being honest and giving real feedback. We have always said that if the band REALLY wants to know what fans think, then they should read our blog, and we continue to stand by that assertion.

This year, however, is a different story. I am cheering for the use of recent photos. 2014 was a year spent in the studio, and it’s great to see that time documented. No, the pictures may not end up being as flashy as the #duranlive photos we’ve all grown to love, they’re real-life moments during the rigors of recording an album. How can we not love that?? Granted, the more selfish, insistent part of me wonders what pictures will show up on the calendar….but today I’m settling on being happy a 2015 calendar with recent photos will be coming out. Who would have ever thought in 1985 that I’d still be hanging Duran on my wall?? I’ll be buying one for sure!

Duran Duran announced the calendar on their Facebook account this morning, and it will be available to order from their web shop on November 27th…. If you’re in the US and  waiting for your turkey to finish roasting that day (it is the US Thanksgiving holiday on 11/27), you’ll have time to order!!  DDHQ also mentioned that maybe we’ll be getting a sneak peak beforehand – and if that happens, you can count on seeing a blog about it here!

-R

 

 

 

This Week in Duranland – November 3rd to November 9th, 2014

What happened last week in Duranland?  It was quiet, right?  I don’t think so!  I know that I had a hard time keeping up with everything.  Anyone else?  If so, this is post is for you and for me!

Wild Boys Anniversary
Despite all of our efforts, time has not stood still.  This means that Wild Boys really did just turn 30!  It is hard to believe that it is 3 decades old.  Rhonda discussed all of this as well as the video posted of John Taylor talking about the song and video on dd.com on this blog post here.

Austin
Obviously, there was a ton of activity regarding Duran Duran’s performances in Austin.  First, they played at the Formula1 Fan Fest.  Then, they played at Dell World.  If you want to catch up on those performances, I recommend reading the following blog posts:  I Wish I Was On That Plane and You’ll See I’m Right Some Other Time.  The posts give links to reviews and a playlist of video clips, which is perfect for those of us dying for a show!!!  If that wasn’t enough, DuranDuranMusic has exclusive photos for members.

Press Clips
Duranduran.com has a new gallery!  It is a collection of press clips.  If you have some, you should definitely send them on to Duran Duran!

Simon and Hunger Game Soundtrack
Lori Majewski, author of Mad World, wrote a little article on Yahoo! Music News about Simon’s appearance on the upcoming Hunger Games soundtrack.  If you didn’t check it out, do it here now!

Countdown
According to the post on Duran’s Facebook:  Countdown’s 40th Anniversary special is airing next week in Australia.  Duran Duran is featured on part 2, which will air on Sunday, November 23rd at 7:40.  Hope someone will share with the rest of us!

Finishing Up DD14!
Speaking of Duran’s Facebook, more studio photos were posted.  These were posted with the statement about how they were “finishing up DD14”!  Let’s hope!  I think we are all dying for it!!!

Careless Memories and Nick:
Nick Rhodes was interviewed this week on the webiste, BlackBook, to discuss the book of photographs called Careless Memories, by Denis O’Regan.

An Illustrated Guide…
Duran Duran was featured in “An Illustrated Guide to Every Animal in Rock Music”.  Before you read the guide, can you guess which animal might be featured?  After all, Duran Duran mentions quite a few animals in their songs…

Today Show Mention
The Today Show discussed who should be the next artist to do a James Bond theme this week.  This, of course, led to a Duran Duran reference along with a brief debate about who is the better band member:  Simon or John!  It is a fun watch!

Gavin Elder
Does that name sound familiar to you?  If not, let me catch you up.  Gavin is Duran’s videographer!  Thus, if there is a video put out by the band, it is usually done by Gavin!  This week, he got a little recognition on the Between 10 and 5 website.  Learn more about Gavin and his work here!

It definitely wasn’t a quiet weekend in Duranland!  It was so busy that I wouldn’t be surprised if I missed a thing or ten!  If so, drop me a comment here!

-A

This Week in Duranland (September 29th to October 5th)

It was a quiet week in Duranland, wasn’t it?  Maybe, it just felt that way to me and Rhonda.  Let’s take a look back and see if our assumption is correct!

DD “D-Blast” Email:
This week, the Duran Duran team sent out a “D-Blast” summarizing the big news of the month.  There wasn’t anything new from what I mentioned on these weekly posts.

Ariane Sherine & Ordinary World:
Do you know who Ariane Sherline is?  When her name came up this week, it looked familiar but I couldn’t place her right away.  She is the editor of the book, The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas, which featured a variety of people talking about the holiday of Christmas when you aren’t so keen on the believing in God idea, which featured one Mr. Simon Le Bon.  Anyway, she came up this week for writing this article in the Guardian discussing what the song, Ordinary World, meant for her, meeting the band, reconnecting with them, etc.  She also wrote her own blog post, furthering explaining her article.  This article touched a lot of people as I saw a lot of people, including Duran, liking it this week and/or sharing it on social media.  If you haven’t read it, you should.  I would be curious to hear what you all thought about it.  I know that I had some reactions when I read it.

Careless Memories:
Interested in the upcoming book of photographs about the Sing Blue Silver Tour by Denis O’Regan?  Then I definitely recommend watching the video about it.  The band talks about how comfortable they were with him and about that time period.  For me, it only makes me wish that there was an affordable copy that I could buy.

Social Media:
Roger popped into Facebook to post a group shot and asked fans to contribute captions to the photo.  There were quite a few interesting responses.  Then, Simon showed up on Wednesday for #whateverWednesday.  Yet, no news was given by either.

I honestly think that is it.  Did I miss something?  Anyone know of anything happening next week?  I hope something interesting happens soon.  Can I get an affordable show to go to?  Album release date?  A snippet?  Something?!

-A

June Katy Kafe with John Taylor!

Third post in a single day. You’d think I did this full time….

(let’s just not talk about that, OK? Moving on…)

Today brought wonderful gifts in the way of a tweetstake (I desperately tried to win but alas, I cannot type that fast. I knew the answer and typed that out supa-fast, but then I stumbled over the damn hashtag for #ADITM. *sigh*  Oh well. Had to try – congrats to @Barbarella5 for being lightning fast – good for you!!!)…and the second gift? A Katy Kafe. WITH VIDEO.

I’ll let you catch your breath on that one. That’s right, this one had video. This was fabulous because we were able to see John Taylor “in person”!  This was also very difficult, because I found myself struggling to remember to take notes. Really Rhonda? I couldn’t watch him and think about what to write down at the same time.  (And I wonder why I didn’t win the tweetstake. Gee, I really don’t know….;) )

Personal struggles aside – I took copious notes.  No really, I did!! I sat through some of the conversation several times just to make sure I got it all down. I know, I know, it’s a lot to ask of me…but I do it for you. MWAH. (that’s a kiss, all the way from California.) Once again, I give the disclaimer that my note taking skills, stellar as they may be, are not done word-for-word, and if you really want the full experience (and you do, because this one is video, people…), you should join duranduranmusic.com.

The opening convo is that John is Skyping from home in England, and that it’s his turn in the Kafe on his birthday month this year. Shout out to Katy for mentioning Dom, since yes – his birthday is coming up on June 14th, and we DEFINITELY count him as part of the band… even if he’s completely forgotten us on Twitter and Facebook these days. *sigh*

Where was I? Oh yes….John Taylor.

On Mr. Hudson: Turns out Mr. Hudson has a first name and it’s BEN.  It’s the little things you know.  They’ve done three songs with him and apparently they’re all on a first-name basis with him now.  And of course, we are now too because he’s part of the Duran family…until he sends us a comment telling us to stick to Mr. Hudson.  🙂  (hey, it could happen!!) John says that he had no idea what to expect from him – he knew of his work with Kanye, and last year he’d heard ‘Fred Astaire’ from a mix that Mark Ronson had given to them.  As originally reported here on Daily Duranie, Mr. Hudson…er…Ben… is from Birmingham and grew up only a few miles from him. John says that they have formed a strong partnership and he’s helping the band to “tidy up” the other songs they’ve worked on.  They seem to be at a point in the process where they have a reasonable idea of what they want to include on the album (11 or 12 songs seem to be the goal) and now it’s about making them sound like a cohesive statement with the same sort of energy.  John basically said that while they recorded these over the course of 18 months (give or take…) they want it to sound as though they recorded over the course of a month or two.  He also said that Ben came to them at a point where they felt like they were running out of gas, and so he came to the project bringing a whole new energy.  Whereas the four members all do things and make decisions very deliberately, Ben isn’t self-conscious, and that must have breathed some very needed new-life into the project.

About those “extra” songs: As we all know, once the band has reached the end of the recording – there are songs that make the album and songs that don’t. I myself have wondered from time to time where those songs go, and I’ll bet others have as well. In my head I picture a bank vault with one of those wheels with spokes that operate the door… (in my head I also picture myself being allowed in that vault to listen with glee to my hearts content, but you  know…that’s just fantasy.) Katy must have been in my head at some point, because she asks what they do with the extra songs.  John is very quick to answer that they’re always asked for three or four other songs – bonus tracks – that end up somewhere.  He said something about fan sites and I started to choke on the iced tea I was having, because you know – I happen to know of a fan site that would be thrilled to “unearth” a bonus track for people to have and hold.  (More fantasy. I know. I have a very active imagination.)

Covers (and Tribute Albums): Katy asks him about LUXXURY’S Girls on Film cover because it truly highlight’s John’s bass line.  He comments that it (the cover) was indeed “salve for recoiled fans”, referring to the fan reaction regarding the debut of Moby’s version of Rio a couple weeks ago.  John was very surprised to see the reaction from fans and then went on to describe his own reaction when he first heard the song.  He explains that when he heard it, he was overcome with emotion, actually in tears, because to him – it was that good.  While he may have had tears in common with many fans after hearing the song, it was most assuredly not for the same reasons. I think this is difficult for John to understand, and yet – probably not. What blows my mind is that here’s John Taylor, one of the writers of the original, telling us – his fans – that he loved Moby’s version (he and Moby are friends), and yet we, fans of this band, STILL cannot get behind that work?  However, even John recognizes that Moby’s song triggers very different emotional spaces than Duran Duran’s version…yet for ME…that’s exactly why I like it.  I don’t know, maybe I’m the crazy one?? (Don’t answer that.)  John continues to talk about the Manimal project (Making Patterns Rhyme), saying that in a lot of ways, it’s good that it’s creating some controversy and getting attention – because these days, it’s very, very difficult to get attention (more on that in a bit!).  He finishes by saying what I already believe to be the case: Making Patterns Rhyme is probably not a project for the die hards out there, it’s intended for a more alternative-minded music listener.  I agree completely, given the little bit that I know.  That said, I’m going to keep promoting it because dang it – I can’t have fans getting lazy and closing their ears to new things!

A couple of speaking engagements John has/will participate in! A few weeks back, John went to speak to a group of local musicians at Death or Glory Records in Redditch (UK). The owner of Death or Glory wanted to keep the purity of the musicians forum he’d organized – meaning it was not publicized to fans beforehand. I have to applaud that choice, because that gave these local musicians the chance to really talk to John as a musician, without people like me around squealing “Oh my God…it’s John Taylor, right in front of me!” You know?  The story behind the event is that in some publication, it was announced that Redditch is the “least musical” place in all of England, which is atrocious because Redditch actually claims John Taylor among their own. (That right there seems like enough to me to say the place is among the MOST musical, you know??) The owner of this record shop decided to rally against that label and started organizing these events – forums – for musicians to come together and talk about some of the successes and challenges of their chosen career.  For this event, John and the group talked a lot about the differences between trying to break through today verses back in the early days of Duran Duran, and ultimately while everything is different technologically – the crux is still the same.  John says that “you’ve got to take what’s in here” (meaning the heart…within the mind and body) and make it into something that speaks to millions. That one action has stayed the same, no matter the time period.  One thing that has changed though, is the internet.  I know fans (including me!) talk about how wonderful the internet has been for us. It’s opened doors between all of us as fans.  We connect. I applaud that.  But, as John says, it’s made us lazy.  He’s right.  We sit at home and just wait for the music to find us. We don’t have to work for it like we once did.  He’s right. I don’t have to go searching for news on the band by listening to the radio, scouring the television to find interviews or going down to the local “Wherehouse” records to see if they have any new magazines or music from the band.  Now I search online.  In a lot of ways, it’s much, much easier…and it’s much more difficult to keep our attention for long.  On the other hand, the artist has to work much harder to stand out among the masses, to connect in ways they never thought they needed, and to keep our attention longer than it takes to click to the next website.

Personally I think that’s where the industry really struggles.  They have no idea how to hold our attention and they have no idea how to translate “likes” on a FB page or “favorites” on Twitter into dollar signs.  In a lot of ways, I think there’s just far too much available. We have to switch on a dime from one thing to the next in order just to keep up.  I think that might be some of the reason why the band seems to have retreated a bit from social media – because it’s just very difficult to keep up with all of it and none of them want to be slaves to it all (nor do they feel as though they need that pressure).  I can certainly understand that. Just imagine the young artists coming up today….they don’t have the luxury of an established fan base, and in today’s world, that’s how you get them.  It’s exhausting.

Additionally, John will be speaking at DHI family day.  (Developing Health and Independence) This organization helps people – whether they’re homeless, or have substance abuse issues – they help.  John was asked to speak, and he sees his role to deal with the stigma.  As John says, he’s a guy who came from a  great family, had a wonderful job and still fell into drug and alcohol abuse.  If he was able to stand up and ask for help, he wants others to feel like they can do the same. John says that he doesn’t see himself as terribly philanthropic, but that he tries to say yes when he’s asked to give back to the community.  (I think he’s a very nice guy. There are a lot of people out there who have just as much to “give” as John might and yet they don’t. Whether he’s shy or not, we’re proud of him!)

Careless Memories Photo Book/Denis O’Regan: John explains that they have a very exacting team working on this book (and they are hoping to have finished copies ready in another month).  Nick sees this as a very important project that he’s taken under his wing, and they’re working with John Warwicker (graphic designer who created, among other things, the cover for Astronaut).  It sounds like it will be a top notch collectible for the very wealthy amongst us when it’s completed. (still hoping for the “bargain basement  but still really cool version for the rest of the fans”…)  Katy asked John if he minds looking back on Sing Blue Silver and John said that he “quite enjoys” it now. At one point he was “pathologically afraid of looking back”, but not now.   Then he drops a scoop worth tucking in the back our heads for later: He thinks the next thing they’re going to work on is something similar (to the Careless Memories photo book) for the Notorious tour and project.  Interesting!!

They wrapped up the Kafe after that. John is planning to stay home with Gela (whom he hasn’t seen much of lately as she’s been promoting her own book, The Glitter Plan…which we reviewed here) and then the following evening he’s going into London for a party with “the guys”.

He waits until nearly ten seconds prior to the Kafe ending to get into “better light”…but when he does?  He definitely has not forgotten how to work it!  Well done John!  Always leave ’em wanting more…

-R