Tag Archives: Denis O’Regan

It’s Roger Taylor’s Birthday!

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

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

Tour & Fame

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

Fans

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

Left and Return

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

Duran Plans

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

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

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

-A

 

January 2015 Katy Kafe – John Taylor

There are times when I’m really nervous to listen to the Katy Kafe. Chalk this up – the January 2015 Katy Kafe – as being one of those times. I know what I’ve written lately here on the blog. I know that while my heart is definitely in the right place, sometimes my faith in the band is shaken, and I just wasn’t up for more of that. But I listened. My comments are typically in parentheses and italicized, in case you’re curious.

Before I dive into the January 2015 Katy Kafe, I just want to say that if you haven’t listened to it yet, I really think you should. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there’s something there in John’s voice that I haven’t heard in a long time. Maybe it’s passion. Maybe it is that he isn’t bored, maybe he’s just thankful they aren’t still writing music??? Whatever it was, I’m glad I heard it. Do yourself a favor, get yourself a membership to DDM and listen to the January 2015 Katy Kafe. My highlights here aren’t going to do it justice, and if you’re planning to see any shows this year…and I hear that there might be at least a couple this summer, you’re going to want pre-sale ticket access anyway.

New Album

John is in LA for a couple of weeks, having flown in after New Years. He’s recharging a bit, and if the band holds up to what I (Rhonda) have seen historically – they take January off and reconvene in February.  (This is my own guesstimate!!)  So what about that new album? John says they are excited, and this time – I can hear the emotion in his words. It isn’t an “excited” like you’d hear at a show, it is more of a passion-filled urging us to stick with them.

“We’re facing up to an end-of-summer release” 

Not the greatest words any Duran fan – least of all myself – is ready to hear, but it is what it is at this point. (I still say it will be Autumn before that album ever sees its way into the hands of fans) John says they are still in process, having finished the first round of mixes in December. Katy chimes in, saying that she’s heard the album (And no Katy, it is NOT unfair that you’ve heard it – don’t let a few wayward fans railroad you into believing that. How can you honestly promote an album you haven’t heard? ) and that she was “pleasantly surprised at how funky it was.”  She comments to John about how it must have been great to record this type of album. John is quick to say that especially today, records have to be molded and shaped, but that the groovy feeling there is inherent…quintessential Duran Duran.

“This is a very important album for us” 

John says that at this point everyone really has to love what they’re doing or else it’s not worth it. He comments that it was never their intention for people to think they’re in it for the money (he may have said “still” in it for the money but I’m not positive) or that they’re not totally committed to their craft. (As a blogger, there are a lot of times when I wonder if anyone is reading this blog. I mean, I can see our stats, but I really mean I wonder if the BAND reads. This is one of those times, as I’ve commented about both of those topics before. I am not without a conscience when I write – I don’t say things purely to hurt anyone, least of all Duran Duran – but yes, there have been times as of recent when I’ve put the thought out there. I suppose I’ve written what I’ve written as a sort of “nudge” to the band, because quite frankly if I’m thinking it – I KNOW others are as well. It’s tough love, but if I can’t be honest, who really can?!? That said, I also know what I hear, and I believe John’s passion.)  John also comments, and he stumbles a bit here, but he says that “There aren’t that many…..they don’t come every year.”  (Let’s just be clear, I think most of us know there aren’t THAT many albums left to be made here. If you’re not already realizing that, you should be. Even if they made FIVE more albums, which might be a stretch to say, that’s a lot less than the 13 or 14 they’ve already released. Capiche??) He goes on to say that he thinks they might even care more today than when the band started out. Back then, there was no sense of legacy, which is challenging for the band. He says the band wants to play to their best. Be their best.

“…struggle to make something that is classic Duran Duran but current.” 

Katy asks a question that I think is brilliant and worthy of a blog all on its own. “Do you think there’s a difference between being relevant and being current?”  John answers the way I would suspect, but suggesting that not everything that is current is good. (100% agreed. I have plenty more I could add here, but I will refrain. I’m already at just under 900 words and there’s more to be written. EEK!) 

They finish this topic in the January 2015 Katy Kafe by talking about the pressure and anxiety of putting out this record. (Again, I’ve talked about this right here on the blog. I have to admit I wonder if the pressure gets to them. The anxiety of having something worthy, and believing they’ve got something to prove – does it get to them and that’s why they’ve recorded and re-recorded?? John clearly doesn’t buy into this theory. He says that at the end of the day, they’ve got to let it out. They had an album they could have released a year ago, but they kept reworking it. (I guess my question is, how do you know when you’re done???) John likens it to cooking a stew, you keep toying with it, adding more salt, more chile, until it’s gotten down the essence of what you want.  (I get it. Kind of…)

Before I forget, they did talk a little bit about the business of releasing a record these days. The fact is, it is a very different planet than it was back in the day of Ordinary World…and a completely different galaxy from Planet Earth. As they finish the record, they do have to think about how they are going to release it. How will they make the biggest impact – the maximum impact.  (Well John, I have a few ideas…one of which involves a listening party for fans…)

War Child Gig in London

This will be a super intimate show that I personally will try not to be jealous that I cannot be in the audience to enjoy. John says that this is a really nice way to play London for a charity, a feel-good all-around event. One thing that concert-goers should know though is that there will be NO NEW MUSIC played. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you!) John talks about the various one-off shows they’ve done lately – like those in Austin or the one in Monterey, CA and says that they keep the blood pumping.  He still holds firm to the fact that these shows satiate the band.

Touring

“None of us are dying to get out and do lengthy tours.” 

John is quick to say that whatever shows they do for this album – and he does say they’ll make it around the world…eventually – won’t be like old tours. The way John spoke, it was as though the band is looking for more quality, less quantity when it comes to touring. (Given what John is saying, I would venture to guess that if you’re a fan who has never traveled for a show and expects the band to make it to your town or close to it – you are bound to be disappointed. I am fully expecting to hear whining like I’ve never heard or seen before when dates are announced. Duranies – get your travel funds ready and be willing to go out of your comfort zone a bit. This is your warning!) 

Now, if you were looking for some hints as to what might be coming – John and Katy were kind. They didn’t say WHEN, and they didn’t say WHERE, but they DID say in this January 2015 Katy Kafe that there might be a couple of shows this SUMMER (THIS IS YOUR OFFICIAL DAILY DURANIE ALERT!). Katy has the dates, and while she said she was being as nebulous as possible – the fact is people, shows are coming. Shows are coming!!! (and as a personal aside – if you’ve been reading my personal twitter lately, you will know that these shows will be announced soon. Not because I have an insiders knowledge, but because I just SPENT MY DURAN FUND on a brand new kitchen mixer. That’s right, you all go and buy your summer show tickets. I’ll be making baked goods in my kitchen. Crying.) 

Denis O’Regan’s Careless Memories

Katy comments a little on this book, talking about the “Then” and “Now” statements that John includes throughout the book.  I did not know this, but John and Denis are best friends. John talks about how seeing Denis with a camera makes him smile, and that he was a bright spot during a very stressful time.  John calls himself a sharer, and introspective by nature, and that the book opened him up (I wasn’t sure if he meant this book or his autobiography, but in either case – it does make me at least wish I could afford THIS book.) Katy expands, saying that the book is the most exhaustive photo book she thinks she’s ever seen, and she again calls it a piece of art, saying that she was completely blown away by how well put together and thought out it was. (I have no doubt that the book would be a wonderful addition to any fan’s collection – my only problem with it is that it’s extraordinarily priced, and while I’m sure the most exclusive editions are truly “art” – even the most “mass-marketed” version, which really isn’t meant for mass market at all – is far too much money for most fans to purchase. It becomes a case of the haves and have-nots, which is unfortunate, especially since for many fans, their history has in a sense been our OWN history.)

The January 2015 Katy Kafe with John rounds itself out by the final comments that John thinks Birdman should get Best Picture at the Oscars, and that the album….forever entitled DD14 (in MY head, anyway!)….still does not have a title.  I suppose though, if it’s not done, the band doesn’t think they can name it yet.

Late summer….although John thinks we’ll have new music in the spring….  But hey, there will be a few summer SHOWS!!!

Words and hopes that will get us through the doldrums of Winter, I am certain.

-R

Duran Duran News – 12/15 to 12/21

Do you know the latest Duran Duran news?  If so, read and make sure that I have included everything!  If not, read and catch up!  This post covers Duran Duran news from December 15th to today, December 21st.

London Concert to Benefit War Child

This is definitely the biggest news of the week.  Rhonda and I have been so busy that we couldn’t even react to it, in the form of a blog post!  According to the press release on duranduran.com, Duran Duran is one of many artists performing a concert in either London or Manchester to benefit War Child.  This particular charity focuses on helping children in war zones.  The artists performing, including Duran Duran, will be playing in venues with the capacity of 300 people and fans will be able to get a chance for tickets by donating to the charity.  All information will be revealed in January.  That said, it is getting press, such as the article here from NME.  Obviously, it would be very cool to see Duran play in a super small venue like this and it would be cool to help out an organization like this one.  If only, I had a transporter to get there and back quickly!

Collector’s Corner – Interference

The December’s Collector’s Corner focused on Nick’s book of photographs, Interference, that was released in 1984.  As the corner explained, Nick would manipulate what was on the TV then take a picture using a Polaroid camera.  The results were often interesting and very cool.  I highly recommend checking this book out, if you have the chance!

Year End Katy Kafe with John Taylor

This week, John Taylor visited in the Katy Kafe and Rhonda covered all of the highlights here.

Duraniversary

It is hard to believe but All You Need Is Now was released digitally, 4 years ago, on this date.  What did we say about this event when it was happening?  Read the posts:  here and here.

John Taylor Year End Playlist

John Taylor put together a little playlist for 8tracks radio.  Have you heard it?  If not, it is here.  Then go, take a listen, and come back to tell us what you think!

Careless Memories by Denis O’Regan

This book of photographs from the band’s 1984 Sing Blue Silver Tour is still getting quite a bit of press, including the article here.  Goodness knows that the fans are still talking about it, prompting Rhonda to blog about it here.

I think that was about it.  What did I miss?

-A

Careless Memories – Is It Worth the Price?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-R

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