Tag Archives: Diamond in the Mind

Let it Shine

It’s all up to you

A friend of mine (heh heh) sent me a text last night saying that he was finally seeing A Diamond in the Mind for the first time last night.

After picking myself up off the floor from shock (His first time?!? What??), I sat and thought about that. I own that DVD, and I’ve seen it quite a few times – including once at a movie theater with a bunch of Duranies! (which was truly some of the most fun I’ve had outside of going to a live gig!)

The All You Need is Now tour is special for me. Although I traveled to see the band when they played the last few shows on the Red Carpet Massacre tour, I don’t think I quite “bonded” with the band over that album. To be fair, that whole time seems very vague and blurry in memory. I’d had a baby in 2008, and it was December when I flew into Philadelphia with Amanda to go and see the band at Foxwoods, Atlantic City and finally Montclair, New Jersey. I can remember bits and pieces from the shows, but not much else other than Amanda and I trying to outline what the heck we wanted to write about. We hadn’t even started this blog yet!

Find yourself

By the time the All You Need is Now tour started, Daily Duranie was in full swing, which for me – likely has a lot to do with how I feel about that tour. Not only did I live through the experiences, but then reflecting on them, and writing about it all has somehow cemented the memories into my brain. Amanda and I went to the UK for four shows in November/December of 2011, and then we also flew to see the band in Biloxi, Atlanta, Durham, and Portsmouth during the following summer. The driving was rough, but I don’t regret a single moment. My memories of seeing the band, touring the UK, then going to the Southeastern part of the US for my first time, are vivid.

I love Diamond in the Mind for a lot of reasons. The first is that the guitar player that *I* recognize and know best is prominent. Yes, I unapologetically adore Dom. Tell me all about Warren’s brilliance or Andy’s hard edge – I have seen Dom perform with Duran Duran at least 40 times now. I saw Andy four times, and Warren just three. To me, Dom *is* their guitar player, all semantics aside. He belongs on their stage, and in their videos, films, etc.

Lose control

While I will never say that Paper Gods wasn’t a great tour – it was polished, precise, and lived up to the same standard every single night – I will still argue that there is something special about All You Need is Now (Diamond in the Mind was filmed at the Manchester gig on this tour). As I said to my friend last night, I guess I must prefer the seemingly lack of choreography and polish. Paper Gods was a production, which was great. It had all the dancing, singing, theatrics and great performances you might expect. Aside from a few very minor differences that occurred over the course of the entire tour – nothing really changed from night to night. I knew right where John would walk, or when Erin would come downstage to dance. It was indeed a true production, very similar to what you’d see if you saw Chic (which, by no accident – was the band that co-headlined with Dura Duran for much of that time).

All You Need is Now, on the other hand was a live gig. Little things changed, the set list would get refreshed, and it just felt less rehearsed, more like a true live gig. Some people don’t like that. I just did. When things would happen that were new – I’d silently thank my lucky stars for being there that night to see it because it may not ever happen again. I felt like some of that was caught on video for Diamond in the Mind.

Then again, maybe it really is just me. I was in a good place for the All You Need is Now tour. I loved Duran Duran so much – the blog was new, the experiences were all new for me – I appreciated every second so much. Paper Gods was like that too, but differently. I worried more about stupid things. I think that for part of the tour, I didn’t appreciate the things I should have at the time. All of those things may have fogged my vision and memory a bit. I’m not sure.

Stay with the music

What I do know is that we’re a matter of months from the next album (after a very long winter, of course), and as always – we never know how it’s going to go. I find that during this particular part of my life – things sure change a lot from day to day. As I’ve been able to see the band more recently, I’ve made a promise to myself to enjoy my time, both in seeing the band, and with my friends. I take the time to put myself out there, to be genuine with people – and to say how I feel about them. It is sometimes difficult not to get caught up in the drama of the moment, but I think I’m starting to realize that our time is short. The little things really are very little, in retrospect.

I’m thankful to have DVD’s like Diamond in the Mind to watch every now and then. The memories are good, particularly during times when life is a little rougher than normal. While I wasn’t in the audience for the show that was filmed, I remember exactly how I felt the night I saw them in Brighton, surviving on pure adrenaline after spending the entire day/night prior on a planes from Los Angeles and then Chicago. I kept pinching myself throughout the show, not quite believing I was really there in the audience seeing Duran Duran in the UK. I still haven’t forgotten they played “Secret Oktober” that night, and how Amanda and I were nearly blown off the sidewalk by the crazy gale winds as we attempted to walk back to our hotel from the venue. I can remember laughing so hard we could barely flag down a cab – the poor guy probably thought we’d had a few too many, when in fact we were just overly exhausted. And lost.

Good times.

-R

The Music is Still Between Us: Durandemonium 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On this date in 2013, Duranies descended upon the fine city of Chicago for Durandemonium.

Held at a small, efficient-yet-boutiquey hotel (that no longer exists under the same name or brand) in downtown Chicago, fans from as far as Canada and the UK came together to celebrate Duran Duran over the course of a weekend. Activities ranged from a first night out at Howl at the Moon, where Duranies were invited onstage for their own rendition of none other than “Hungry Like the Wolf” (If the whole “writing about fandom” thing doesn’t work out – there’s absolutely no future in singing onstage for me), to an author panel and a private screening of Diamond in the Mind in a local Chicago theatre. The celebration culminated with a themed-banquet and after party at what has to be one of the best named alternative-music neighborhood clubs in the country – Late Bar.

It wasn’t just the activities that made the weekend special. It is the friendships that were created. Amanda and I love getting notes from people who went to the convention and still talk about how much fun it was. That’s how Amanda and I feel about the convention we attended in New Orleans in 2003. The activities were great, but the times we remember most were the talking and laughing in small groups. If I could bottle that part of what it takes to make a convention successful, I’d carry it with me forever.

Amanda and I have been approached countless times since that weekend about doing another. In the past we’ve even started the planning, only to be railroaded by one thing or another and forced to put the idea aside. Money is always an issue. Conventions are not cheap. Even our convention in Chicago required several thousands of dollars up front, and as one might imagine – blogging does not pay those kinds of bills. Time is another sticky problem. Planning a convention can take hundreds of man-hours, which are not always readily available. We’ve considered doing an event at a club one evening, and then suggesting a hotel to stay at to make a weekend out of it, so it’s more of a get together than actual convention, but because the two of us live a few states apart, the logistics are a problem. We’re in Duran downtime now though, so perhaps it is time to give it all more consideration.  Personally I think it would be a blast to pick a city, meet up at a hotel, and do a Duranie slumber party!  There’s still our dream of paying the band to come and perform a private gig, too (Who does not dream of that? Right after I win the lottery – I’m on it!)

I’ve had the chance to not only attend, but plan two enjoyable, cathartic events as a fan. Three if you count that one time I flew to Chicago on a whim for a weekend so that I could go to March MaDDness (a one night fan get together) with Amanda in the Foundation Room at the House of Blues. I’ve marveled over this fan community before, but going to a fan event like a convention changed my entire life. I want nothing more than to recreate the same safe space for other fans. So many of us are judged by the t-shirts we wear, music we play and concerts we attend. For me, it was a relief to finally be in a place where I could just be myself with others who understood. That’s what I mean by “safe space”. We’re never all going to agree on the minutia, and we’re not all going to be best friends, or even friendly in some cases. We’re all different. Our fan community is complex. We each have our own favorite memories, band members, songs, albums, or tours. When it all boils down, the music is still between us. The music is the common thread that connects us as fans. I feel like we should celebrate that as often as possible.

-R

 

 

 

Diamond Dust and Dom

Would you believe it if I told you that on this date in 2014, the Diamond Dust vinyl edition of Diamond in the Mind was released??

When this came up in my daily DD history, I was a little surprised. I can’t decide if I’m surprised it’s been three years, or that it’s ONLY been three years! I think it’s because since 2015, we’ve had Paper Gods on our minds, and in some ways (for me) it feels like All You Need is Now was a long time ago. That thought also makes me a little sad.

I need to plan another trip to the UK.

Moving on…

Hey, is anyone going to see my favorite person on Sunday in London?? Dom Brown is playing with his new band, DB3 at The Boaters Inn and the show is FREE.

A. I wish I could be there.

B. If you’re going, take pictures and video and send them my way!

Last Thursday of kids in the building for me….

Cheers!

-R

 

Diamond in the Mind, Revisited!

Attention vinyl addicts!!!  Today Duran Duran announced that they will be releasing their first live album on vinyl in more than a decade. This is a limited edition, double album with a diamond-dust, screen printed gatefold sleeve.  The original press release can be found on duranduran.com, but I want to include Nick’s comments regarding the actual diamond-dust found on the cover.

Since the title is ‘A Diamond in the Mind’, when it came time for the packaging design, it occurred to me that we should use some real diamond dust on our cover artwork. I really wasn’t sure I would get away with my request, but working with the incomparable Vinyl Factory to produce this special edition, they rose to the challenge, called their local diamond dealer and voila! We have that extra little sparkle that certainly brightened my day, when I first saw the artwork proofs.”

There will be 2000 copies available, ready for pre-order from The Vinyl Factory. (link goes to order page)

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Track listing:

Vinyl Track Listing 
Before The Rain
Planet Earth
View To A Kill
All You Need Is Now
Come Undone
Blame The Machines
Reflex
Girl Panic
Is There Something I Should Know
Ordinary World
Notorious
Hungry Like The Wolf
Sunrise
Wild Boys
Rio

-R