Tag Archives: DDHQ

Guest Blog: Thanksgiving Thoughts

Editor’s note: I should have published this on Wednesday! So sorry it is late! -A

Thanksgiving Thoughts by Nat Mingo

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States. It’s a holiday that commemorates the Pilgrims survival in America by holding a feast to thank their Native American allies. Nowadays, Thanksgiving means spending time with your family and/or friends while eating delicious,
carbohydrate-laden foods. Black Friday follows Thanksgiving; major stores offer discounts to entice shoppers to begin their holiday spending. I’m honored to host a modest Thanksgiving this
year; I’ve begun my preparations. However, I’m distracted by the plethora of Duran Duran news that was released this week. And I’m extremely thankful to hear this information. So, here are some Duran-related things that I’m thankful for:

I’m grateful to DDHQ for their advocacy and transparency. Duran’s media team regularly post on multi-media outlets. I follow the band on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Their efforts engage fans while the band is on or off a tour cycle. It’s fascinating to read the diverse, global responses to open-ended questions. This week, DDHQ posted news about the Funko Pop figurines, the 2020 calendar release, the annual Webshop sale, and some upcoming items for
sale. The response has been hugely positive. I appreciate the “official” announcements. It allows me to plan appropriately and dare to hope. There is something magical about DDHQ’s
promotion in and around an album’s release or tour cycles. I suspect that 2020 will have some surprises in store for us.

I’m grateful for the DD webstore’s annual November sale. I’ve blogged earlier about my deep love for the yearly calendar. There will be a 2020 calendar available for purchase; Amanda kindly tweeted me with the news, as I was at work. This sale allows me to save a bit of money on items that I would like to purchase such as the calendar. In theory, I could spend the “savings” on my beloved niece’s gifts but in reality, I end up buying more band merchandise. It’s an enjoyable conundrum. DDHQ posted about a new poster with a timeline of the band’s logos and band members. I can’t wait to obtain one! I hope someone blogs about this special item; I won’t be able to write about its merits until it hangs in my office for a while.

I’m grateful for the band’s collaborators. I follow Anna Ross, Dom Brown, Nile Rodgers, Mr. Hudson and Erin Stevenson on various social media platforms. This week, I’m really grateful for Patty Palazzo’s band projects. Patty designed this year’s calendar. I liked the language inclusivity of days of the week, the number placements and some of the photo layouts in the 2019 edition. So, I’m eagerly anticipating some 2020 novelties. Patty also announced that her
company, Punk Masters, will be releasing some new items soon. I look forward to perusing her new wares. Punk Masters t-shirts are soft and chic. I plan to sport her Nefertiti shirt tomorrow at Thanksgiving. I selected the PM shirt for its comfortability, its perfect pairing with a newly acquired track jacket, and to see if my mom squints and says, “What’s on your chest now?”

I’m grateful to hear about Andy Taylor’s new endeavors. Andy recently joined several social media outlets to share his latest developments. I won’t call it a “comeback” because we know
that as a husband, father, guitarist, musician and producer, he stays busy. My thoughts about Andy are “complicated” but I’m thrilled to see/hear that he has an upcoming album and that he is doing more concerts. A fellow fan posted his enthusiasm about going to his London show tonight. Another fan has posted snippets from the show. It sounds like he is playing his solo work, Duran and Power Station songs. Andy is a gifted musician and I’m lucky to have heard
him at a few shows.

Lastly, I’m grateful to the Daily Duranie and the fan community at large. I’m a natural editor-not a creator. I can make existing things/situations better. Perhaps, this tendency is why I pursued a teaching career. It frustrates me, at times, that I don’t have the visionary spirit that most artists embody. Occasionally blogging for the Daily Duranie has allowed me to “create.” I’m deeply appreciative that Rhonda and Amanda allow me to muse on their platform. These ladies work diligently and I strive to write content that measures up to their standards. Some Daily Duranie readers have left kind comments on my posts. These positive reactions keep me writing so I thank you as well!

Thank YOU for reading this post. I have to get back to my hostess tasks- cleaning, food prepping, cooking, ironing, and obsessing over minute details. Enjoy your time with family and friends.

In Gratitude,
Nat

Suddenly It All Looks So Familiar

Happy whatever-day-this-is! I honestly am not sure. It could be Wednesday, but it also might be Monday. Or Friday. I really don’t know anymore. I am still struggling with giving out my current address correctly, so there you go!

It is currently 26 degrees (That’d be Fahrenheit) outside of my house. That’s up from 24 earlier this morning, and the 22 it was at about 3am (so my phone tells me). I’m obsessed with the temperature, so it may seem. I went from having no winter to speak of, to actually being below freezing from time to time. There are actual jackets hanging in our mud room, and boots waiting at the ready. This is exciting! It takes so very little to amuse me….

Don’t you know it?

This morning, I was alerted that my email had changed for an application I frequently use, and unfortunately it was done without my knowledge or permission. That led to me changing my passwords in a few different places, one of which being Ticketmaster.

I went to the site and logged in without a problem, and headed to change my password. How hard could it be? I typed in my old and new passwords, then hit “save”. From there, I was redirected to a page that said “The page you were trying to access was timed out.”

Ok, maybe I did take too long in thinking up a new password, I thought to myself. Fine. I went back and did it all again, speeding up the process. Nope. Once again I was sent back to the same page, indicating the time-out again.

And again, and even one more time because I just had to be sure. I tried logging completely out, clearing my history, and trying again. Surely it had to work, right? I mean, this place handles thousands of tickets and queries each hour. What’s a password change?

Nope. This is Ticketmaster.

They can drag me to the gates of hell now…

I don’t think I know of a single Duran Duran fan who hasn’t had their own share of trouble with the site. Tickets not being available, the site locking them out, or even credit cards not working that should have – I think most everyone has struggled at one point or another. If you haven’t, count yourself lucky, I suppose. I can now count myself among those who has had trouble with not only a pre-sale, but just with my account in general.

Rhetorically, I have to wonder what in the hell is the problem. Is it really that difficult to keep a site running? Is there that much traffic…on a Wednesday (yes, I checked and it is really Wednesday), that the site can’t manage?? Here I am, trying to be proactive and keep my account details current and still private – and the dumb site can’t even allow that to happen without torture.

I know that DDHQ truly believes that the only reason fans complain about Ticketmaster is because we didn’t get the best seats, or because we’re spoiled rotten. They might feel as though we blame them for issues with Ticketmaster. I can see why they’d feel that way. After all, using myself as a case in point: rarely do I bother to post when Ticketmaster has been especially kind. Fans tend to focus on only giving feedback when something goes wrong, rather than saying “Thank you” when things go right. I get it.

I’m not running away

I think the frustration from fans comes from the fact that even though many of us have shouted from the rooftops about Ticketmaster and their ridiculous process – nothing ever seems to change. Our concerns fall on what seems to be deaf ears. The problem is twofold: on one hand, Ticketmaster doesn’t care. Tickets go on sale, and someone buys them. Whether man, machine or both – the tickets get sold and that’s all they care about. They’re not going to change a damn thing because they don’t need to – they’re getting paid. On the other hand, fans don’t have a good understanding of how it all works. So, when things don’t work, they complain to the one set of people they “know”: DDHQ.

It doesn’t seem as though fans have a good understanding of how the money flows from ticketing agency – to venue – to management, and then to band. It certainly isn’t as though it’s an open process, either. For example, I know people who believe that it is the band that decides where to tour. I think they envision them sitting around a table with a map and a Sharpie. Others believe that DDHQ has a personal vendetta against fans, so they choose to work with Ticketmaster. Very few fans understand what the band (or DDHQ) has control over, so the blame game runs wild.

I’m still hanging in

My experience this morning has nothing to do with DDHQ, or Duran Duran for that matter. It is 100% Ticketmaster. I’m just using this forum – my own fan blog – to put it out there. The fact is, if we can’t even get the system to work when it comes to our personal account information or security, how on earth can we expect it to work for ticket sales?

Once again, I find myself incredibly frustrated with the machine, with incredibly little I can do to change any of it. When there is a monopoly such as this, there is no incentive to make sure the system works at all, never mind fairly or across-the-board for everyone. Ticketmaster’s concern over my personal details is infinitesimal. Even if I can’t get online or into my account to buy tickets, somebody else will. It isn’t about providing good service, it is about money.

Ain’t no final showdown…

Yet, when tickets go on sale for shows again, rest assured I’ll be online trying to buy them. Which is the #1 reason Ticketmaster will never change.

-R

An Update on Ian’s project

I’ve debated whether or not to comment on something here publicly, because it could put Daily Duranie at odds with DDHQ, or it could put us in the direct line of fire from fans in the community, or most likely, both. Do I mention that the band is not promoting Ian Little’s book about Seven and the Ragged Tiger, or do I stop writing about it altogether and pretend it doesn’t exist?

Amanda and I are not promoted by the band.  We are not employed by Duran Duran, nor are we a part of their inner circle. Aside from having a link on the band’s website, and occasionally helping us out with special projects, we don’t really receive or expect anything from them.  Amanda and I don’t get passes to shows, go backstage or even have free tickets. Our names aren’t big enough to convince them that we matter beyond just being fans – we don’t host a radio show, we haven’t written books, and we’re not celebrities. Basically, we do not owe anyone, other than ourselves, anything. We are not sycophants, but we are fans of this band. We don’t write this blog because we want things, we write because we want to share our opinions and tell about our experiences in this fandom with people who want to read them. Whether that gives us any sort of credibility with anyone is honestly beyond my worry at this point. After nearly eight years of blogging, I’m sort of over worrying about who I’m going to offend or impress, I guess.

With that in mind, I noticed last week that DDHQ finally commented on Ian Little’s potential book project on Seven and the Ragged Tiger. In case you don’t know what that is, please check out the previous blog on the subject here.

To provide a bit of backstory, everyone who had signed up for information on the project should have gotten a note from Ian explaining that he’d heard from Wendy Laister (the band’s manager) saying that they would advise he not publish because it would likely be in competition with a few things the band has planned. Judging purely from what I saw online, I think the news that the band wouldn’t back Ian hit him hard. I don’t think he was expecting that news, and initially, he seemed defeated, saying that he was disappointed and couldn’t figure out why the band wouldn’t want to get onboard. After MANY replies from fans (Ian had also put the news out on Facebook) suggesting he go ahead with his plans, I think it gave Ian the motivation he needed.

It wasn’t long after that DDHQ put out a short tweet regarding the subject. I’m just going to copy/paste it here:

“A lot of people have been asking if Ian Little’s forthcoming book on the making of “Seven & the Ragged Tiger”is an official release and rather than responding individually we wanted to let you know it is not, and it is up to you whether you want to participate or not. Thanks^DDHQ”

A bit of clarification: it is always up to each of us whether or not we want to “participate”. That wording is awkward and quite frankly – odd. Secondly, this is not an “Us vs. Them” sort of situation. Many people have published books about the band, and only a fraction have been “official” releases. Most of us read them anyway, and we’ve all gone on to continue being fans of the band, leading productive lives. You won’t spontaneously combust if you read something the band hasn’t given their kiss of approval, and you won’t be a bad fan if you read somebody else’s point of view. Supporting the band does not mean drinking the Kool-Aid and never bothering to ask what’s in it!

On one hand, Ian wants to do this project, and I love the idea of reading about the making of Seven and the Ragged Tiger. Whether or not the band gives this project their approval is of little worry to me, personally. In a lot of ways, it seems like to have their approval means doing it their way, which may or may not actually hurt the validity of the project (to be blunt). They might decide what stories could be told, how they’re worded, and so forth.

On the other hand, I don’t know what the band could possibly have planned that would be in competition with this book. Even IF they have a similar story or anthology planned, it would seem to me that they’re forgetting that many (if not most) fans will buy anything they sell, assuming of course that the items are within financial reach for most fans. Selling a comprehensive limited edition, signed and sealed book about Duran Duran for $1000 or more means that decidedly few can and will buy. On the other hand, selling a comprehensive mass-market book that goes for $20.00 means that thousands of fans can and will buy a copy, and if some will be signed – many more copies will be purchased.

I’m not in the business. I don’t work in the music industry. I do wonder sometimes though, what goes on behind-the-scenes that encourages DDHQ to throw support one way and not another – and they have to know that their backing matters. I can’t help but notice that it isn’t what you ask, or how you ask, but instead how big of a celebrity you might be. Fans don’t seem to matter to DDHQ the way they do to the band themselves (and we DO matter to the band). It would seem like that’s wrong, but management is responsible for the business of Duran Duran. They have to protect the band’s interests, even if the decisions look backward to fans. It is hard (at least for me) not to throw a side-eye when I’ll see DDHQ respond directly to a celebrity when they say something about Duran Duran, but they don’t really seem to do the same for real fans. Yet, I get it. I do know how it is. Social media is all about who sees what. How many eyes  see a tweet to a fan versus a response to a big celebrity?  That’s not to say that DDHQ doesn’t try. They absolutely do. But sometimes, it just comes down to basic economics.

If you’re intrigued by Ian’s project, I’d encourage you to send an email to musiceel@gmail.com. He will respond and send you details. Getting on his mailing list is not a financial commitment, it is simply a way for him to gauge interest. Participating does not mean you will be committing a crime against DD.

-R

 

Las Vegas here we come!

Since I have to leave fairly early for Vegas tomorrow, I decided I’d better blog in advance on Wednesday night. This will post on Thursday morning, so our readers can enjoy while I’m driving through the desert!

Amanda and I are getting to Vegas a day earlier than our other friends, primarily so that we can get some much needed work…and relaxation done! So, I’m driving out this morning, and Amanda arrives later on.

I’m excited about having a little getaway. It all still feels a bit surreal, probably because of the holiday rush – I’m still recovering from Christmas and yet here I am packing to go see Duran Duran in Vegas, of all things!

It would seem that we have quite a crowd ready to invade Hard Rock Live for Late Bar on Friday night at 9:30. If you’re going to be in Vegas, you should definitely make plans to come to where the party is going to be that night! Great music, fun people, lively atmosphere, and it’s Vegas.  If you haven’t already told us you’d like to be included on the list for the comedy show (same place, just prior to Late Bar) and you want to go, please send us a note TODAY so we can add you!

On a personal note I feel a bit guilty going on a trip like this. Things haven’t been the greatest at home, and although my husband and son are taking this opportunity to go do “guy-stuff”, and my two daughters are going to hang out, I still feel bad leaving right now. That said, I need a break. I don’t think I’ve ever been this stressed out. I like it when life is fairly settled. The uncertainty is not fun, and while sure – life can be a great adventure – I’d be much more “up” for it if we knew where Walt (my husband) would be working. The first quarter of 2018 is going to be rocky, that is for sure. I just need to breathe.

Yep, definitely need this break. It’s going to be short, but I’ll take it.

On another note, did anyone see the song DDHQ posted today? It was sort of an odd Watch it Wednesday given that it doesn’t have a video, but they chose Planet Roaring.

While I have said that I don’t care what the band plays anymore, I will admit that I, among many other fans, would love to see them do this one live. Sure, it’s a “bonus” track, but it is such a great one. The words lend themselves so well to calling out to fans – and despite what the band seems to believe about this Vegas show – there are going to be a LOT of fans in that audience on Saturday night, and the venue isn’t that big! Play this one and they’d be liable to have an entire group of fans singing it right back at them.

The problem here is that the band just has too many good songs. It’s a good problem to have.  It’s just a shame that in order for them to take full advantage of their enormous catalog of music, they would need to change-up their show fairly often, which is pretty laborious (so I hear).  So while I may be singing Planet Roaring in my heart…my head is humming Hungry Like the Wolf and loving every minute of it!

Off to finish packing – and yes, Amanda and I will be tweeting and checking in from Vegas as much as possible. Check our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!!

-R

MNDR for Remainder of North American Dates

Last night, Duran Duran posted the following on social media:

If you haven’t had a chance, read the terrific Yahoo Music interview with MNDR, where she talks about her experience touring with Duran Duran.  We’re happy to announce she will be continuing on the Paper Gods tour for the remainder of the N. American dates!

As you might imagine, the fan community reacted.  As I looked through the comments on both Twitter and Facebook, I found 4 basic types of reactions.

  • MNDR was great at ____________ show and the keyboards are in “good hands”
  • My worry has increased since Nick has been gone so long that it must be serious.  Can we please have an update about what is going on?
  • Happy?  Why use the word ‘happy’?  Who is happy about it?
  • So upset that Nick won’t be at ______________ show.  Expected him to be there when bought the ticket.

None of these reactions surprised me.  Whenever some upsetting news is given, people respond with all sorts of emotions.  It happened in July when the announcement first came that Nick had to return to the UK and it has happened now.  I can’t blame anyone for his/her reaction as they are all very human responses.

MNDR Was Great:

I have to admit that I would probably fall into this camp.  Both Rhonda and I have mentioned numerous times over our shows this summer that we thought she did a fabulous job.  I still think that.  Does that mean that I preferred her over Nick?  Of course not.  It just means that I was happy that the shows could go on and that the quality of the music was not harmed significantly by a replacement.  Many of us have held tickets to canceled shows in the past.  There is not much worse than that.  If the band had canceled, when would they be able to return?  Who knows?  They might not have and if they did, would I have been able to attend the show(s) then?  Who knows again?  Having MNDR fill in was the best choice, I believe.

Increased Worry:

I totally understand people’s concern.  We all want everything with Nick to be fine and for him to attend the shows.  Yet, we know that he is physically fine based on the Katy Kafe that was posted on the 10th.  Clearly, he wishes that he could be on tour but he has something to take care of.  Who I know what that is?  No.  Do I need to know?  Not really.  I look at my job.  Do I tell my students every time I need to be gone from work?  No.  I don’t tell them anything that won’t effect their classroom experience.  If it doesn’t affect the job, it doesn’t need to be stated.  I understand why people want to know.  They care.  They worry.  Yet, clearly, this is something that Nick wants to keep private.  As hard as it is for all of us who care about Nick a lot, I think we have to try and respect that wish.  I know that it is much easier said than done.

Happy???

Ah..word choice.  As someone who writes a blog, I am well-aware of how ONE word can upset people.  Those who are upset about the use of the word, ‘happy’, do you really think that DDHQ means that they are happy Nick is gone?  Or do you think they are happy that someone good can stand in so the shows don’t have to be canceled?  Again, as someone who writes and puts thoughts out there to be consumed by the public, I wish people were a less little critical and assume that there was nothing but good intentions behind it.

Upset

Again, I totally understand those people who have tickets to shows and expected Nick to be there.  I, too, would be upset.  Heck, I was upset that he wasn’t at my shows.  Again, though, I ask that people assume positive intentions.  Nick and the DDHQ didn’t do this to anger people or frustrate ticket buyers or to dupe people out of money.  Things happen.  We don’t have to like it and we can be angry at the situation but I don’t know that the anger should be directed at the band or their team.  I also ask people about the alternative.  Would people really prefer the shows be canceled only to possibly NEVER happen?  Yeah, the situation sucks.  For sure.  Yet, I believe that something is better than nothing.

On that note, I continue to send love and support to Nick and his family with whatever it is that is being dealt with.  Clearly, there are  a lot of people out there doing the same.

-A

We’re In This Together

We just wanted to take a moment to extend our thoughts and love to the people in Brussels and those affected by the terrible attacks that took place.

It is during times like these that we are continuously reminded that when it comes down to it, we are all humans. We’re all on the same team. We are reminded of how thankful that we have one another, no matter where we live in the world…and that we’re all part of the same very large, somewhat dysfunctional, but still very much loved family.

That is why it really took us both back, and quite frankly completely appalled the both of us to see so many jump to condemn DDHQ and/or anyone they assume to be the one posting for making a mistake this morning by posting songs and images that some felt were inappropriate in light of today’s events. Sure, the choices were unfortunate – but still just an error like any other, and we ALL make those kinds of mistakes every single day.

We caution those of you who seemed bound and determined to not only make DDHQ say they were sorry, but to also admit that they had failed, as if that was going to somehow make the situation better.  On a day such as this, when the world was waking to another time of horror, couldn’t we cut everyone some slack? Be the bigger person? Be gracious instead of point fingers??

Don’t forget, they’re also trying to plan a European tour, get the band and their equipment off for this one starting on Friday, coordinate their press, and thousands of other large and small details. Yet they took the time today to acknowledge a vicious attack, and then came out and apologized for making an error.  And you never know whom you’re really calling out for these errors, we might add. Would you talk that way to a band member???

Probably not.

Daily Duranie has been at the receiving end of negativity such as this before, and we’re going to be blunt: IT IS COMPLETE BS. There’s no reason for it. No one looks cool for doing it, and it still isn’t going to make anybody look like the better fan – in fact,  we’d say it does the opposite.

DDHQ makes mistakes sometimes. So do we. In fact, we make them a lot. We’re all on the same team when it comes down to it, though. We’re all supporting Duran Duran in one fashion or another, and I’d hate to see that stop purely because people are constantly getting called out for making a mistake. It takes something that should provide joy, love and even some comfort, and instead makes it feel very brutal. No one wants that.

We’re all in this together. Let’s remember that and stand together. DDHQ does a great service for all of us, because they certainly don’t HAVE to engage with fans…plenty of bands just don’t, and judging from outbursts like what we saw this morning, we can see why.

We’re pretty glad we’re supporting them, that’s for sure.

Peace & Love,

-A & R

Happy Thanksgiving 2015!

For those in the US today, we wish you a very happy Thanksgiving. If you’re elsewhere in the world, allow us to send our best wishes and a hearty thank you for taking the time to read. It has become a bit of a tradition at this time of year for us to say thank you, and take stock in what we are thankful for.  Instead of doing a combined list, we decided to each write a little something this time.

Rhonda

For me, this has been a year full of adjustments – but one that I’m also thankful for, both personally and fandom-wise.

I struggle when it comes to knowing what exactly to say about Duran Duran. I am obviously very thankful I fell in love with them at the age of ten. I’m also thankful they continue to make amazing music. I’m thankful Paper Gods is out. It is beautiful and I continue to be very proud of them. In a year that has been a personal struggle for me, I desperately needed to escape into the music just to stay sane, and the band came through, as always. Thank you for continuing to challenge me to broaden my definition of what IS Duran Duran, even if it took me a while to “get it”.  I am so thankful that I was able to see them a few times this year – they came at a point in time that I really needed, and I’m glad I had the opportunity. (Big thanks to you, Amanda) It’s funny, I don’t think I take the band for granted as is, but I learned just HOW thankful I am for them on November 13…not just as a fan-girl, but as a real person. They matter in my world, and I wasn’t ready to lose them. Thank goodness they are safe.

On the blog front, I am so thankful for DDHQ! They keep us updated with what’s going on via social media and by doing so, they help us to do OUR job, and their hard work isn’t taken for granted. I am thankful for two people who took the time out of their own busy day to sit and talk with Amanda and I, and offer some very well-intended advice. I don’t want to name them, but I am hoping they know who they are. I needed to hear what they had to say and while I am sure I will continue to make mistakes, I appreciate the encouragement they continue to offer. “Thank you” doesn’t seem to even begin to cut it – and I can’t explain how much it helps knowing that people who have been in similar positions understand. I also very much appreciate the “learning opportunities” I’ve been given this year. Those moments did not go unnoticed. I am thankful that we have this blog, too. I’m proud of what we’ve created, and I especially appreciate that our writing resonates enough with people that our blogs get read. Lastly, thank goodness for my friendship with Amanda. She is the one completely loyal, unwavering pillar of support I really have and can always count on. This is the one major lesson I’ve learned this year: she’s got my back and I have hers, no matter what. For that, I’m eternally grateful. 

Amanda

Every year, at this time, I do like to stop, think about life and express my gratitude.  This year is no different.  In fact, I would say that it feels even more important this year as I feel like the big lesson of this year is truly to appreciate what I have as it can be easily taken from you.  First and most importantly, I learned this through my parents.  I didn’t learn it through example or some teachable moment that they captured as was when I was a kid. No, I learned it through my mom’s cancer diagnosis and my dad’s continuing health struggles.  Luckily, both parents are doing as well as can be expected.  My mom has completed treatment and we are very optimistic that all cancer is gone and will stay gone.  My dad keeps up the daily battle of having a chronic condition with strength and courage.  Truly, as much as they can drive me crazy and cause me to worry like no other, I’m extremely thankful that they are still here with me.

Interestingly enough, I also learned this lesson of appreciation through Duran Duran.  A year ago, the album seemed impossibly far away with no real end in sight to the Durantime.  A big part of me worried in the back of my mind about whether or not the album would ever be finished and would ever be released.  I didn’t want to say goodbye to Duran and I worried that I might have been doing just that.  This concern appeared to some to be negativity.  It never was.  My love and loyalty to the band never wavered but the fear of losing them was real.  That fear of losing them returned in a huge way when they were in Paris on the date of the recent terrorist attacks.  Thankfully, the band was fine and their career is doing well!  I’m beyond thankful for that.  The music they brought us this year did what good Duran Duran music is supposed to do.  It made us feel and it made us think.  It made us dance and feel good and it made us fall for their music all over again. As always, the live shows I attended only reinforced my love for the album and the band that I became a fan of over thirty years ago.  I am definitely grateful for that!

Of course, the band has given me more than just a great album and some fabulous live shows.  I have been given some of the best experiences of my life, on tour, and the motivation to do all that Daily Duranie does from writing to holding fan events.  This year caused Rhonda and I to question ourselves and our purpose with this operation (or whatever you want to call it!).  This questioning along with support from DDHQ and those who really understand our current position and take time for us made a huge difference in encouraging us to keep going and in giving us reassurance that we are on the right path.  As Rhonda said, we still make mistakes but we are learning and will continue to learn with every new opportunity we are given.  Lastly, I have to agree with Rhonda that I, too, am thankful for our friendship.  It has only grown stronger through time and through this journey we have been on.  It is a constant that gives us both strength and determination to continue on.  We are very lucky to have found each other.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Fear Today, Forgot Tomorrow

I think I’ve been watching the news non-stop since Friday afternoon.  I’m a news-junkie to begin with, but this weekend I haven’t been far from the TV or my phone, as I monitor news from Paris.

I am still wrestling with what happened on Friday and how. I remember half-listening to the TV as I worked on a display for a history festival at my kids’ school on Tuesday. (I am actually using my gemology degree to teach kids!) All of the sudden, the news broke in regarding Paris and I walked to the center of our living room so I could better hear what was going on. Of course, the very first thoughts that went through my mind were:

  1. Duran Duran just performed in Paris.
  2. I need to get in touch with Amanda.
  3. Please let it be that the band has already left Paris.

It seemed with every passing second, my stomach sunk lower and lower. Talk of a bomb at a football game, a hostage situation at a concert, gunfire at restaurants and bars. All in Paris, and nothing from DDHQ to indicate whether the band was still in the city. In between frantic texts with Amanda, I tried telling myself that of course the band was gone, that there’s no way they could be anywhere near all of this. I tweeted Dom and DDHQ – as if they were actually going to answer me. (because seriously, who in the hell cares? I’m just another fan…but I had to at least try.)

Of course, we all know how it ended. Dom did tweet, to which I responded telling him that I’d hug both him and Martha if I could. As relieved as I still am, I can’t get the idea of those people being gunned down in the Bataclan out of my head, no matter how hard I try. The attacks in Paris, Beirut, and the hundreds of places it has occurred over the years are all horrific and have left their mark on me as a human, but the Bataclan sticks out for me because going to a concert is something many if not all of us have done. Just another night out, just another gig. Except of course it wasn’t.

I highly doubt I’m alone in saying that I think a lot about those people in that theater. It’s not as though I was even there that night. I was thousands of miles away, here in my own home. I’ve never seen the Eagles of Death Metal live. I don’t really know their music that well, but I still identify with those concert goers. I love music. I live for live shows. I don’t care what kind of music it is – classical or rock, jazz or blues – something magical happens when you watch a musician play, and I live for that.

When I sit and think about how I feel when I’m at a show, the word that comes to mind is “free”. I’ve written that I feel most like myself at a Duran show. It’s the one place I can leave reality behind for two hours, and just enjoy myself. I treasure that time. I give up a lot in order to have that time. I’m sure the people in attendance on Friday night in Paris felt similar. I don’t think the choice to attack that theater was pure coincidence or random – the terrorists struck where people were just doing normal things. It’s hard to get that thought out of my head – that this could happen anytime, anywhere. No warning.

I live in earthquake country, and as a result, I’ve been through a few during my life. Everyone who is not from California likes to tell me that they could “never live here” because the quakes are random and come without warning. This is true. I used to be so afraid of them when I was little that I wouldn’t/couldn’t sleep at night, and my dad would patiently sit with me and give the same speech over and over, “We can’t live in fear of them, Rhonda. You have to just go about your day because you can’t fear for things you don’t know are ever going to come – you’ll waste your whole life worrying.” He was right, of course. I’m still a worrier, and things still do not roll off my back, but he was right and I still hear his voice in my head telling me that I’m going to worry my life away.

During the last few days, I’ve seen the reports of U2 having to cancel their show in Paris, and the Foo Fighters canceling their tour. I saw Madonna stop her entire concert one night to say a few words about the attacks in Paris and specifically about the Bataclan. It would be a mistake to assume that just because we may not be fans of Eagles of Death Metal or since we were not personally there that night that this attack didn’t affect each and every one of us. Of course it did. We’re music fans. We are people. John Taylor himself once said that concerts are like group therapy sessions (I am paraphrasing from a sound byte many years ago). Music heals, and yet on Friday night – that is exactly the opposite of what happened to those people in that venue. But we cannot let evil win. We cannot live in fear.

I’m still struggling. There’s a part of me that very much wishes I were going to the Duran Duran shows in the UK just so I could see the band in person, for myself, and feel good that they’re OK. Then there’s another part of me that wants to keep my children here at home with me and never leave the house again. Fear can be pretty powerful. Last night my husband and I made last-minute plans to go to Vegas next week for a few nights. It’s a long, crazy story (aren’t they all?), but we’re going. I’ve been wanting to see the Beatles Love Cirque du Soleil show for years now – but every time we’ve gone, I’ve either been denied due to timing or circumstance. So last night, I bought tickets. Just before I hit the “buy now” button, I paused. Did I want to risk being in a big crowd right now, and for that matter – is it safe going to Vegas at all? I heard my dad’s booming voice in my head telling me to knock it off, stop worrying, and go.

We can’t let them win.

-R

Duran Duran Social Networking Features

How many of you are fans of Duran Duran on their Facebook page?  I suspect a lot of you are.  After all, as of the writing of this blog, they have over 2.6 million likes on their page.  What about following them on Twitter?  There, they have over 140,000 followers.  Clearly, there are a lot of people out there who like Duran Duran!  What benefit is there to liking their Facebook page or following them on Twitter?  Well, beyond posting the latest news about the band, those social media accounts post routine features.  What am I talking about?  Let me give you a couple of examples:  Watch It Wednesday, which features some Duran video, or Tune In Tuesday, which features a Duran song.  What do you think of these features?  Do you think they always choose wisely?

Tune In Tuesday

Last week’s Tune In Tuesday is actually what made me really think about what DDHQ (Duran Duran Headquarters) chooses to focus on.  Last week, they picked the song, Buried in the Sand, off of the album, Medazzaland.  In general, I like the idea of showcasing a song each week.  It reminds people about the depth of their catalog so that if fans don’t know all Duran, they might be interested and check out albums they don’t have.  It also gives fans a chance to just celebrate one song, which is hard to do when Duran has so much material.  That said, I found that past Tuesday’s choice a strange one. I get wanting to put songs off of Medazzaland in the spotlight since it is an album that was probably missed by a lot of fans.  That said, that song made me cringe and not because I don’t like the song or the album that it’s on but because of the story of the song.  As many of you know, it is a song written about John leaving the band.  As a John fan, I don’t know that I need to be reminded of that.  Then, I wondered if DDHQ just picks a song randomly or if there is a rhyme or reason behind the choice.  Clearly, here, I could come up a reason why they could pick specific songs but do DDHQ?  From my discussion on Twitter, most fans thought they just pick it randomly.  What were the choices the weeks before?  They were Buried in the Sand, Skin Trade, Arcadia’s Lady Ice, and To the Shore.  That seems pretty random.

Watch It Wednesday

This feature is very similar to Tune In Tuesday.  Instead of doing songs, though, the focus is on videos.  Should songs and videos be equal?  In Duran’s history, media often focused more on the videos than on the songs/albums, much to the band’s frustration, it seems.  Yet, we all know that their videos caught a lot of people’s attention and lead to a lot of people becoming fans.  Thus, it makes sense to include videos.  Yet, of course, there are a lot more songs than there are videos.  DDHQ goes beyond just actual videos but include clips of live performances, etc.  Again, I have to wonder if there is a plan for these videos.  The last few weeks have included a clip from San Remo in 2008, the video for Skin Trade, the video for Save a Prayer, and the video for the Reflex.  Sometimes, they have a reason for what they pick.  For example, The Reflex was chosen on Valentine’s Day.  Logical.  Yet, I have no clue on the rest of the choices.

Social Media Specifics:

Of course, there are some unique features on Facebook and some unique features on Twitter.  For example, on Facebook, there is always a Facebook page of the week chosen.  What is interesting to me about this feature is that it is always a “page”.  It isn’t a personal Facebook account or a Facebook group, but a page.  This means that groups like “My Duran World”, “Duran Duran the wild boys always shine”, and more never have the chance to be acknowledged.  People who have a Facebook account about Duran Duran won’t get acknowledged either.  (No acknowledgement for Daily Duranie since it is a personal account rather than a page.  On that note, has anyone ever operated a page before?  To say that it isn’t user friendly would be an understatment!)
On Twitter, DDHQ will always post a #FF (Follow Friday) to acknowledge a few fans.  On top of that, they will also wish individual twitter handles a “Happy Birthday” at times or retweet about a cause.  Sometimes, a “Tweetstake” is posted, which is a little contest in which people have to answer a trivia question in a specific way to win something.
What do you think of these features?  Are they sufficient?  Do you like some better than others?  What would you do if you were part of the DDHQ team?  Would you choose something different?  Have more specific plans for those features?
Speaking of features, we also have a few on this little blog.  We post a daily question and a “today in Duran history” post.  We also have an events page, which lists what is coming up in Duranland.  If that wasn’t enough, at times, homework is given in which all Duranies are encouraged to complete a little task to show their opinions about Duran.  What do you think of those features?  Do you like them?  Do you have other ideas of features we should include?
-A

This Past Week in Duranland: September 1 to September 7

I don’t even know where to begin!  It was a crazy week!!!  The biggest event was Duran Duran’s performance at the unveiling of the latest Madza Miata on Wednesday, September 3rd.  This event and everything surrounding the event led to quite of bit of activity in the Duran universe.  Frankly, I’m still reeling from all of it!  I’ll do my best to summarize all that and more!

Did you miss Duran’s performance at the Madza private gig?  Did you miss Rhonda’s blog post about it?  Can’t find it on YouTube?  Simply go here to see the video and read about Rhonda’s reaction to the whole deal!  You could also check out duranduran.com for a few pictures!  Now, many people expressed concern about Anna Ross since she was not at the performance in Monterey, California. Apparently, she had hurt her back and was unable to travel.  We hope that she is feeling better!!

Of course, a lot more went on within the fan community due to that particular show.  Let me break it down for you and in no particular order.

Since Duran Duran were hired by Madza to play at this private gig and had performed recently in Moscow for a pharmaceutical company, many opinions about playing for corporations were voiced among the fan base.  Rhonda entered her opinion on this blog post.  The debate raged on.  My question is this.  Is Fashion Rocks different?  Is the Grand Prix Formula1 event different or are they all corporate gigs?

During the actual event, there was quite a bit of activity on both Twitter and Facebook as we hosted a viewing party.  If you wanted to check out the action on Twitter, the hashtag used was #DDMadza whereas the action on Facebook could be found on the event page.  While there was much frustration by the back-up singer, possible sound problems, Duran not having the best performance, only being able to see 3 songs and more, people seemed to enjoy reacting with other Duranies!  I know that I did!  We thank each and every person who participated!!!

Then, of course, there was quite a bit of discussion about a certain retweet by Duran Duran, which you can read about in this post. Some people were offended by it and others weren’t.  I have already made my point with the post but here’s the thing.  Wouldn’t it be nice if retweets didn’t offend ANY FAN even if it didn’t bother you?!  Can’t we all agree to that?!

Of course, not all of the discussion after the fact had to do with the retweet, performance, corporate gig.  Oh no, there was quite a bit of discussion on OUR twitter on Friday afternoon about a certain shot during the performance of a certain bass player and his anatomy.  It seemed that my dear friend, Rhonda, forgot who was the John Taylor fan around here!  (Oh no, I won’t forget that anytime soon, Rhonda!)  If you are interested in THAT discussion, you should be following us on Twitter (@DailyDuranie).

Was there more?  Honestly, I was on overload with just ALL that!  Yet, of course, next week is going to be crazy as well with Fashion Rocks and the Unstaged screenings.  Speaking of what is coming up, if you look on our home page, below our logo on the left hand side, we have all the upcoming Duran events listed and will update as needed.  This way everyone has one place to look for what will be happening.  (I also can better keep track!!!)

Seriously, what did I miss in this summary?!

-A