Tag Archives: #DD15

Trusting the Process

The holiday season just keeps on giving!!

Sure, the gifts might be small – depending upon how you may feel about pictures of the drummer “in residence” at the studio….

(does that mean he’s moved in for the duration?!?)

(that’s a joke)

(although really…maybe that would be more effective…)

(Ok, I’ve used too many parentheses… and now my WordPress editor hates me…)

The pictures make my day! The more the merrier, actually!  As I wander through my house, endlessly trying to find the holiday ribbon that was probably packed months ago, I will gladly accept even the tiniest of gestures to remind me that all is well. Seeing Roger in the studio, behind his drum kit, works for me!

At some point, the band will settle into the seemingly never-ending process of writing and recording, and the pictures may stop for a while. Until then, I’m going to cheer over every photo we get, and…yes…trust the process.

I don’t know how much “the process” has really changed for the band over the years. Naturally, technology has advanced, but beyond that, I don’t know if they really do things any differently. On this side, fans have the added benefit of being “plugged in”. Earlier albums seemed to just appear out of nowhere. I didn’t know they were recording until something was released. These days, thanks to the internet and social media, we are made more aware.

For me, this is a double-edged sword. I love seeing the pictures. I used to get so excited when they’d post snips of whatever they were working on. Some might even say we – or I – obsessed over details before we really knew they were even going to be real details on an album.  It wasn’t necessarily fair to the band. In hindsight I can say that doing all of that was part of MY process. I needed to learn how to blog. Understanding that I had a duty to be responsible with my words and opinions took me longer than I want to admit. The learning curve was a roller coaster, and at times I crashed and burned.

Balance is important. I might not be able to contain a grin, or a post or two when I see pictures indicating that the band is working in the studio, but I know that it is unfair to the band to dissect whatever new music may arise from this time before any of us even have it in hand. Not only would I be setting an unfair prejudice for their work, it would be unkind to fans. My hope is to be able to report on whatever progress is shared, without interjecting too much “early opinion”.  Overall, while the band is hard at work, I am hoping to be a bit more patient, introspective, and use my time wisely….once I finally unpack and find my holiday ribbon!

-R

At the End of the Drive

Last weekend, I discovered that Duran Duran is, indeed, back in the studio working on their next project.  Now, we don’t really know if the plan is to complete a whole album, a mini-album like an EP or something completely different.  Many of us assume that the plan is for them to create an album, #DD15, if you like.  I’m good with going with that plan.  I, like many/most/all fans, am all for a full album of new Duran music.  In thinking about this announcement, it got me thinking.  Where do the shows in 2019 come in?  Am I anxious for new music?  Do they feel like they finish a project completely before starting the next?  Is that the way to do it, if so?

Initially when I heard that Duran was getting started on the next project, I thought about how the band finishes one project before beginning the next.  For example, we know that they worked on All You Need Is Now before Paper Gods.  The shows in 2011 and 2012, for instance, belong to the AYNIN era.  As the band now enters the studio, many assume that the Paper Gods era is over and a new one will begin.  I think that.  Then, I wonder where the upcoming shows in 2019 fit.  Are those part of Paper Gods or #DD15?  Did we have shows like this after Astronaut or Red Carpet Massacre or AYNIN?  Without looking, I bet we did and that we lumped any of those shows in with the previous era.  Is that fair?  Not sure.  I wonder if we do this because of the fact that they didn’t or won’t be playing new songs.

No matter how we categorize these upcoming shows or how we label the studio work that is going on, I can’t help but think about the idea that there are beginning and ending marks to each Duran era/project.  Yes, as I just pointed out, the ending point might not be as clear cut as you might think.  Still, their job, their history can be clearly divided between  album projects.  I wonder if they prefer that, if they like that aspect of their job.  After all, they finished shows in 2017 and took a significant break from what I saw.  From my perspective, this is probably a nice way to have a career.  They write an album before touring it.  After that, they take a break.  Sure, some might say that the constant cycle could be boring or could result in losing creativity but it seems like a good way to sustain themselves long term.

In many ways, my life runs in a similar cycle.  I have a school year in which there will be consistent activities before I get a break in the summer.  Similarly, campaigns work that way as well in that once election day is over, there is a brief time of reflection and clean up before a break.  Interestingly enough, other projects like our writing projects haven’t really worked that way for the most part.  Would it be better if they did?  Would it be more positive for us to write for six to nine months then take a break?  I don’t know but I appreciate that Duran’s return to the studio has got my mind thinking a bit.

All this leads me to wonder if I need Duran Duran in the way that I did in 2012 or 2015.  I remember feeling so anxious to get my hands on new Duran music then.  Looking back, I’m sure there were a couple of factors for my desperateness.  First, in 2012, I was looking back to the All You Need Is Now era and realized that I had an absolutely amazing time.  I simply didn’t want it to end.  In all seriousness, I felt like Rhonda and I had worked hard to make this blog something and had started to hold fan events.  It felt like we were onto something and having a break was going to kill it.  I worried if this blog could be sustained without new Duran activity.  On top of that, my Duran-related activities helped me ignore some trauma.

Now, though, I feel like I view my fandom differently.  First of all, I don’t worry about the blog as much.  I know that we can blog for long periods without new Duran material.  I trust in us more now.  Second, I think I see fandom as my place of fun, my escape.  Of course, there are still things that I would love to do surrounding our writing or more fan events.  That said, I have other activities in my life that need my attention, too.  Life does not stand still and I cannot either.  So what does this mean in terms of new Duran music?  Simple.  I cannot wait for the beginning of the next era!  It means new, fabulous music as well as good times!  Who wouldn’t look forward to all that?!  But…I don’t need it desperately as I might of in the past.  Nope.  I am going to be patient and busy with the rest of my life until I can celebrate new Duran.  I look forward to that.

-A

There’s no place like home in Duranland!

There are no hard and fast rules about what makes someone a fan (other than liking whatever is the object in question), and there really aren’t rules about what one should or shouldn’t do as a fan. Yes, there might be societal rules, or fairly arbitrary boundaries that are enforced by the larger group, but the  guidelines aren’t really written. We certainly can’t pull the book of fandom rules off of a shelf and recite from it. None of this is illustrated more clearly than when Duran Duran posts any sort of an update.

Ah….Durantime

The other day, the band posted a photo of them in the studio, indicating that they were back in the creative mode.  Reaction from fans, including myself, ran the gamut from giddiness to dubiety. Mentions of #durantime on both the original DDHQ post as well as personal Facebook accounts led to sharp exchanges between fans. Declarations of “How dare someone question the length of time before an album comes out?” along with equal measures of “Why can’t anyone take a joke?” led the charge. I found myself with the smallest of grins, because Duranland wouldn’t feel like home if people weren’t bickering, even over what seemed liked good news.

We’ve been doing this for forty years!

Then there are those who celebrate their fandom by giving the band advice. We’ve been fans for forty years, we know what works, right?  “Please go back to the AYNIN formula”, “Make another album like Red Carpet Massacre!”, “Work with Ronson – he gets us!” Everyone seems to know exactly what direction the band should be headed in, with all of the confidence and wisdom that comes with having written and recorded fourteen chart topping albums. Aren’t we all so damn smart?!? Listen, I’ve been there. I’ve done this. I will likely forget myself while in the company of other fans and occasionally slip. To read the advice online in a series of comments though? Yeah, we sound like assholes. We really do. I’d say we’ve gotta stop, but I’m almost sure someone will write in telling me that it’s their RIGHT to say whatever they want. And it is. So I won’t.

You got a right!

What you choose to do with your fandom, and how you choose to BE a fan, is your choice. I will never completely buy into the idea that a “good” fan is never critical, or never pokes fun.  I can’t really argue though, with people who only see the sunny side. We all do this “fan” thing so differently. The longer I participate, the more I realize that fandom is as much about learning how to accept differences as it is celebrating common adorations.

-R

Don’t You Just Wonder? #DD15 Here We Go!

Imagine popping online and seeing this:

Duran Duran graces the studio once again!
DD 2018, in the studio working on new music #DD2018

You don’t need to imagine it, because yesterday – it happened!  Sure enough, Duran Duran is back at it! #DD15

Yes, they’re all together in the same room. They certainly look quite pleased with themselves for remembering to provide photographic evidence of such a meeting. Don’t you kinda wonder??

I sure do. I wonder what they’re thinking about.

The blank screen I see when I click on “post new” each day serves to equally daunt and empower. Even when I know what I want to write, typing it and seeing the words appear doesn’t always go smoothly. Some people have coffee in the morning, others need a shower – I need both. There are mornings when I have stood there under the water, letting it wake me up and giving me a minute or so to think about the day ahead, and have completely composed a blog.  I rush to get ready, only to begin writing and realize I can’t exactly remember the genius idea I had running through my head ten minutes earlier.  Then there are the days when I have nothing to say at all, and it doesn’t become any clearer when I sit down to the computer.

When Amanda and I were diligently writing manuscripts, each new chapter brought equal amounts of anxiety and excitement. We would try to map out our manuscripts, knowing what each chapter needed to convey and how we planned to get from point A to point Z. Invariably though, I would need to have a phone session during which we would brainstorm over points to consider and include within the chapters. Only then could I settle down enough to begin writing. It was as though I was so excited to write that I couldn’t sort through how to begin.

When I look at that picture with the four of them, I wonder how they feel. Are they nervous about starting again? Do they know what they want to do for #DD15? Is jamming for them similar to what Amanda and I might do as we chat about whatever we’re about to write?

As a clarinet player, I was never one of those who could improv well. I have a difficult time coming up with melodies on the spot, I suppose. Sight-reading is a skill I’m far more comfortable with. Clarinet players are typically orchestra people, for the most part. The idea of sitting down and composing an entire song, or a complete album, sounds an awful lot like climbing Mount Everest for the fun of it…and then doing it again, just for kicks. Thinking of the task on those terms reminds me of how remarkable it is to be blogging about the potential for a 15th studio album.

Whatever they might be feeling or doing in this moment, I love the energy surging through the fandom right now. It pulses like an electric current, supplying life, and waking us up out of a dreamy slumber. None of us know what is coming, but we’re excited by the possibilities. #DD15, here we go!

-R

During This Deafening Silence

Sorry for my absence last week!  My husband was laid off late last year, and spent five incredibly long months looking for a new job. Some people find jobs quickly, but in the tech industry, his work is far more specialized and it just takes longer.  Unfortunately in his business, reorganizations and layoffs are normal. For the past twenty years, we have been lucky. His job changes—we think there have been at least seven—never required a move, and we’ve lived in the same house in So Cal. Two of our three children were born nearby, and for all of them, this house is “home”.

My husband started a brand new job this morning in Santa Barbara, which is about 150 miles from our current home. Over the summer (I sincerely hope it’s over the summer!), we will be moving because the commute from the OC to Santa Barbara is insanity, obviously.  He drove up this morning, leaving our house just after five (that is AM, thank you). He just texted me at about 8:45 my time to let me know he’d gotten there. That’s an hour longer than it should have taken him, thanks to typical Los Angeles traffic. There’s no way he’s going to be able to keep up that pace for long, not that we ever thought otherwise.

So, last week, I began the slow and steady process of packing, getting the house ready to sell, and moving. The funny part is that I still am not sure where we’re moving quite yet. It could be north of Santa Barbara, but it could also be the Boston area since a good portion of his team are located there. I just love surprises and not having any idea of where we’re going. (This is such a lie I can’t even type it without laughing)

I do find the timing and the uncertainty amusing. After all, we’re in-between albums, aren’t we? None of us have any idea when a new album will drop…or IF a new album will drop. (To clarify, I have no reason to suspect they wouldn’t go back to the studio!) We don’t know if that band will ever tour again, although right now I feel pretty positive they will. (No hate mail, please) I’m just glad that if my life is about to be turned upside down, we’re doing it now…and I’m willing to bet that on the next Duran Duran album, there will be at least one song that I’ll identify with that describes this period of my life, because THAT is how good this band is. They get it right even when they have no idea who I am, or what I’m about, or going through.

Each of us have our own lives going on during the time when Duran Duran are killing us with silence. I tend to think in terms of “pre <insert album title here>”, “post <insert album title here>”, or even “in-between titles”. I’ll probably always remember this time in between as the period where my life closed one chapter and began another (and yeah, that’s pretty poetic). The joys of moving.

I listened to Paper Gods today as I was driving home from dropping Gavin back off at his UC Riverside dorm. It’s an hour from our current house, which isn’t awful as long as there isn’t traffic. I hadn’t listened to PG in a while just because I was trying to give it a bit of a rest after having it playing on repeat for over a year. I can still remember how it felt to stand in the audience at the Hollywood Bowl and seeing them play the set live for the first time. I don’t know if the album really is a favorite of mine – I found that it took me quite some time to really bond with it in any sort of way – but I will say that the tour was a lot of fun. Those memories will stick with me in the same way that the memories I have of this house will linger with me forever.

-R