Tag Archives: Duran Duran fandom

Question of the Week: Astronaut Tour Representation Part 2

This week we are continuing to figure out which song best represents the Astronaut Tour. So far, people have selected the song that best represents the Paper Gods Tour, the All You Need Is Now Tour and the Red Carpet Massacre Tour. Last week, I listed each and every song that the band played on tour in the year 2005 and asked people to choose the song that represents the Astronaut Tour but I promised everyone that people would get a second chance to vote. So, this week, the poll includes just the songs that people voted for in the past week. After that, we can declare we have picked out the song that represents the Astronaut Tour.

-A

Coming Soon
Which Song Best Represents the Astronaut Tour?
Which Song Best Represents the Astronaut Tour?
Which Song Best Represents the Astronaut Tour?

Look out of the Window

Is anybody bored yet? To be fair, I’ve had quite a bit to do here at home. Cooking and cleaning for the family proves to take up quite a bit of my day. I can’t say I’m all that domesticated, but you know – I really have no other alternative at the moment. Woe is certainly not me when I look around and see that I have it far better than most.

Even so, boredom is a thing. I mean, one can only disinfect so many times, right?? I have learned to crochet – the one thing I can truly say that most females on my mom’s side of the family kind of passes down from generation to generation. Up until now, I’ve been incredibly resistant. But this year, I decided I wanted to learn how to both crochet and knit before I turn 50. Let’s just say I’m “practicing”, and leave it at that for now.

I also had kind of a spur of the moment meeting of sorts with Amanda yesterday. It was the highlight of my week, although at the time we were working the kinks out of an idea we’re putting together for next weekend!

Collectively, a few of us have ideas of things to do to help console one another through this unusual period of time, and also help others at the same time. While I won’t give away details and steal his thunder, be on the lookout for an announcement from Jason (VelvetRebel) – he has a great idea to keep you singing and dancing. In addition, Amanda and I are working on another Daily Duranie video party to take place next Sunday.

How can you be filled with doom and gloom while watching Duran Duran videos, interviews and other assorted gems, all while chatting with other DD fans? Our hope was to find a site that would allow us to watch videos and chat all in the same window – that way we wouldn’t have to mess with Twitter or use a hashtag to keep everything tracked and organized. We tested Zoom yesterday, and it seems like that’s going to work well for our purposes. If you’re interested in participating, you should go ahead and look into downloading the program/app now so you’re ready. We’re hoping to do the party in the middle of the day California-time, that way perhaps getting some people from other parts of the globe involved too. Be on the lookout for details as the week rolls on!

Along with all of that, of course – is Duran Duran. If you were online last Friday, perhaps you were treated to the sights of Simon attempting to answer questions from fans at rapid fire pace for about 30 minutes. It was amusing to watch just how quickly Twitter can go!! The questions ran the gamut from suggesting a good cocktail for pandemic lockdown (admittedly that was from me and no it did not get answered) to requests for Simon to be someone’s lockdown buddy. (no comments needed from me…or Simon, as it turns out!) All joking aside, there were also questions about his favorite B-side. (after a few other mentions, he settled on Secret Oktober, which of course as far as I’m concerned – is the correct answer!) The one thing that struck me, was how quickly Twitter devolved from being more of a running conversation right back to a firing line of questions and even demands from fans. When the band is online, it’s a tough situation. One of them, thousands of us – you can see the problem. I wish there was a better way.

Meanwhile, I have baby chicks to raise, and a couple of banners to photoshop – so I’m off! Remember to be on the lookout for fun fan things to do online this week! Stay safe, wash your hands, and keep the space!!

-R

Question of the Week: Astronaut Tour Representation

It is Saturday! That means that it is time for the question of the week. If you have been following along, the theme of this current set of questions is the song that represents each tour. By the end of the set of questions, I am hoping that we have a song for each tour Duran Duran has ever done. When we started this set, I opted to go from most recent to least. Our results so far are:

Paper Gods Tour – Pressure Off

All You Need Is Now Tour – All You Need Is Now

Red Carpet Massacre – Nite Runner

Now, it is time to vote on a song that best represents the Astronaut Tour. When creating the poll, I looked the songs the band played in 2005 as they played most of the songs then. Now, before I share the poll, I want to warn you that the band played more than 40 different songs in 2005. Will it be hard to choose? Without a doubt. To ease your struggle, pick the song that grabs you first. Then, next week, I’ll do the same question, narrowing to just the songs that were chosen. This way if you change your mind, you have another opportunity to vote. On that note, happy voting!

-A

Coming Soon
Which Song Best Represents the Astronaut Tour?
Which Song Best Represents the Astronaut Tour?
Which Song Best Represents the Astronaut Tour?

Sure as Silence Follows Rain


Fingers in my brain

So, I’m going to open this post by saying I’m an idiot. I was apparently far, far sicker than I realized yesterday. Somehow, I wrote and posted an entire diatribe that wasn’t meant to post until today. Better yet, I didn’t realize that I’d actually posted the blog – even after people had commented on it. (No, I wasn’t on medication. I hadn’t even taken an aspirin!) It wasn’t until I was watching television last night just before bed that I realized I’d accidentally posted the blog that day. Not once before that did I give it thought, even when people tweeted that the blog was well-written.

I have somewhat emerged from the fog of illness this morning, enough to think about some things. As I commented yesterday, it’s just a very strange time. The world’s unrest, the elections for the US, coronavirus, and whatever else. More than one person commented on how awful the world, and life, is right now and that it must be difficult for the band to even be creative.

Who are you to fail

That’s an interesting thought. On one hand, I am a musician. I don’t think I’ve been this creative in many decades, and it is the one of a few bright spots in my life. However, I don’t know about anyone else, but when I’m seeing movie premieres scrapped until November, it makes me wonder. What about press conferences with health and city officials suggesting not to hug or shake hands? Watching good people leave presidential races because we’re back to choosing between two old white men yet AGAIN?? Well, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for hope or creativity, does it?

Then again, maybe it does…and to be frank, I sure as hell hope the band is past the writing stage of the album at this point now anyway.

Then there’s the coronavirus. What a fucking MESS. Sorry for cursing. Actually, no. I’m not. This is ridiculous. Yesterday, the state of California declared a State of Emergency. Health officials were on TV, talking about how to handle large gatherings. People, including myself, are wondering how long it’ll be before sporting events, concerts, and other events are curtailed. Costco is an absolute nightmare. A zoo. You think doing presales are bad? Try fighting carts driven by determined people headed for the toilet paper aisle at Costco. It’s like doing battle.

I’m having to rethink whether or not I should go to a party tomorrow night – my neighbors take turns hosting parties on the first Friday night of the month where we bring a bottle of wine and a dish to share – 150 neighbors are on the list, many of whom are over 60 years old, and I’ve been sick with a cold this week. Maybe one of them are sick now, and they could spread it to me or my family? It seems crazy to even have to consider this sort of thing. It’s a bizarre time to be living on this planet. Seems like music is one of purest joys we have left. And yet..

Who am I to resist

I still have to wonder where the people are? Where’d the fans go? It used to be that when we’d even get the slightest murmurings from somebody “in the back” saying that an album is going to be released six months (essentially) later than originally estimated, people would come out of the woodwork. There’d be calls for public floggings, people carrying clubs and/or torches… (slight exaggeration on my part, perhaps), but right now, it’s mostly silence.

*taps non-existent microphone*

This thing on???

Am I the only one left? Nope, can’t be, at least not here in America. I just checked Ticketmaster and it seems as though most of the seats for the two Vegas shows are gone. I’m going to apologize up front because I know there are people from other parts of the world who read this blog and will undoubtedly comment that I should be so lucky as to even have the band play in the US – therefore insinuating that I should shut up about the cost of tickets and Ticketmaster. Sorry, but I’m going to “go there” anyway because it’s my site and this is a real problem regardless of where the band is playing.

I try to leave the memory behind

As I checked seats using the password for the presale that TM sent me this morning, I noticed that on Saturday night, the cheapest seats available were about $300 and they were way back…like IN the back. Oh hell no, I’m not driving my happy ass through the California desert for the back at $300 plus fees!

I love Duran Duran, and I admit that I have paid a pretty penny to be near the front for a good many shows. However, one thing I haven’t done, and refuse to do, is pay an insane amount of money to be in the back. The seats I saw today were all on the secondary market, and they were all highly inflated, non-DD VIP pricing.

I can’t speak for anybody else, but I’m out. These prices are crazy, Ticketmaster is doing nothing to stop the secondary market because – surprise surprise – they directly profit from it! I wouldn’t be surprised if the artists do as well to some limited extent. My thinking is: if people are willing to buy those super insanely priced front row tickets at $5,000 or more a piece – artists sure don’t have a difficult time saying that the command VIP prices of over $500 for second or third row (much less first), do they? Sorry, but I’m calling a spade a spade here. Everyone profits, except for the fans.

What’s left to believe in

Granted, maybe you’re one of the privileged few that doesn’t mind shelling out stacks of cash to have a front row center seat. Maybe you think a 90-minute show warrants a $500+ ticket price. For that matter, maybe you’re one of those that likes to buy as many tickets for all the shows they can – regardless of whether or not they’re actually able to attend the shows, so that they can sell them off one by one (at inflated prices) to fund the front row ticket habit. I’d just like to be one of the people to say thanks a bunch. You’ve managed to help price fans like me right out of your way.

Several years back, I knew I’d have to get very lucky to get those front row tickets, but at least I felt like I had half a shot. Likely, the same shot as anyone else. Sometimes I’d be lucky and other times I’d be in second or third row. Maybe back a bit further, but it was still all luck. Nowadays luck has gone right out the window. Ticketmaster, along with these crazy people willing to buy so many tickets at one time (buying a limit of four only is a limit if you use a single device along with one sign-in, people) and resell them for inflated prices, has kind of ruined the whole concert experience.

I don’t know. Seems to me that the world is off it’s damn axis right now. Nothing is working quite right. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, but maybe, it already has.

-R

Question of the Week: What Song Best Represents the Red Carpet Massacre Tour?

For this week’s survey/question, we are continuing to try to figure out the song that best represents a tour. So far, we have asked about the song that best represents the Paper Gods Tour and the All You Need Is Now Tour. The answers so far have been Pressure Off for Paper Gods and All You Need Is Now for the AYNIN Tour. Obviously, we are going backwards in this set of questions. This week, we are asking about Red Carpet Massacre.

As I began researching the Red Carpet Massacre Tour, I immediately noticed that the band played a ton of different songs, at least in 2008. I checked out 2008’s setlists in particular because that is when the band played the majority of shows in support of this album. Does that mean that I missed some songs? I am sure. That said, these are probably more representative. Anyway, according to setlist.fm, the band played 39 different songs in 2008. Interestingly enough, there are a handful of cover songs as well, which you can see on the survey. Because there are so many songs to choose from, I would go with my gut. Which song says Red Carpet Massacre Tour the most?

Happy voting!

-A

Coming Soon
Which Song Best Represents the Red Carpet Massacre Tour?
Which Song Best Represents the Red Carpet Massacre Tour?
Which Song Best Represents the Red Carpet Massacre Tour?

The Kindness You’ve Shown

It took me a long time to figure out what to write about for this blog post. On one hand, I feel like I have a million thoughts rolling around in my brain dying to come out. On the other, I’m exhausted from talking and thinking and feeling. All of that sounds super cryptic, doesn’t it? National events have left me fearful and despondent. While that would be enough to get my mind going, work has been extremely tough. Teaching is super hard work with the best of circumstances but the past two weeks have pushed many at my building to their emotional breaking point, including myself. Without going into too much detail, someone we worked with was arrested for disturbing crimes against our students that has forced all of us to question our judgement, our sense of safety and more. We have been offering comfort and support to both students and colleagues alike at the same time we are all struggling ourselves. This stress has led me to get sick and feel a weariness that is hard to describe.

Last night, as I faced the end of the week, I found myself sitting in my classroom just talking and talking and talking with a couple of colleagues We hadn’t planned on staying late or having an in-depth conversation, in which we shared our frustrations, fears and even hopes for what it could be like. It was like we just needed to be together. In many ways, we have been dealing with our own emotions, silently, individually, and it was time to start letting it all out. Then, after an hour or so, a student stopped by and joined in on the conversation, needing to talk as well about the feel of the building and the world. This conversation reminded me of the best aspects of what I do outside of fandom. At the heart of both teaching and political organizing is the relationship. With teaching, the relationships are both teacher to teacher as well as teacher to student. I’m thankful that I have great relationships with my kids and I’m grateful that I have found colleagues that I can be open with. Both help me be a better educator and person. Then, organizing only works with relationships. I have developed close friendships from fighting for a cause, for a campaign with others.

Interestingly enough, this all brings me back to Duran Duran and fandom. I became a fan as a kid alongside my best friend, at the time. I couldn’t think of Duran Duran without thinking of her and the fun we always had together. Then, of course, as an adult, I cannot separate Duran from Rhonda and other friends. Friendship and fandom go hand-in-hand. Yet, my thoughts about friendship and Duran are more than that.

Making friends has never been something easy for me with a couple of exceptions. As the youngest kid in my family, I always looked to my older siblings to figure out how to do things and I constantly marveled at my sister’s ability to find an entire group of friends. For example, her high school years were spent with a group of kids who loved hockey and musicals. Then, she went off to college and made lifelong friendships with her roommates. One of those roommates lives close to her now and often spends holidays with my sister and her family. Then, my sister and family vacations with the other roommate and her family every year.

Beyond my sister’s example, I also saw the friendship that existed within Duran Duran. While I was attracted to the band for their music, their style, etc., I remember thinking about how close of friends they all seemed. This was obvious to me when watching the videos for Hungry Like the Wolf when the rest of the band searched for Simon or Nightboat when everyone seemed worried about everyone with zombies walking around. Then, if that was not enough, I saw it again in the documentary for Sing Blue Silver. That image at the end of it when a number of band members standing together, hugging and already missing the tour is one that is burned into my brain for all eternity. If they weren’t genuine friends, would they act like that? Fast forward, a number of decades and I still see that friendship. I think my favorite clip to show the genuine love between them is this one:

To me, Duran Duran was like my sister. They had a group of friends that they could rely upon, who they always hung out with. I wanted that my whole life and never really felt like I had it. Yes, I have had some tremendous friendships with individual people but never had a group that I felt like I could fit in to. I always figured the reason was that one-on-one people might give me a chance and try to get to know me but a group never would. I wasn’t that cool or funny or whatever. Lately, though, with everything going on, I have found myself appreciating the friends I do have. No, they might not be a group like my sister has or what the members of Duran have, but they are good people who have given support and will continue to give support. Something tells me that I will need those friendships more and more.

-A

I Still Like the Fairy Tale

A few years back, I wrote a blog about Slow Food. It was kind of an odd topic, given that this is a blog about being a Duran Duran fan. While you can read the blog here, it was about the convenience factor of MP3’s versus vinyl. I thought about that post as I wrote this one today.

What is an album, anyway?

I don’t quite remember the date I wrote that blog (I should have looked and didn’t), but here we are in 2020, and while vinyl has enjoyed somewhat of a resurgence, it isn’t as though one can carry vinyl along with them and play them. Streaming has become much more popular since the time I wrote that post. Using my own kids as the example, they almost never buy music.

Read that last sentence again. My three kids (I have a 23-year old daughter, a 20-year old son, and my youngest girl is 11) almost never buy music. They all stream. No one buys a thing, besides the premium subscriptions to whatever streaming service used, of course. I try not to think about that very often, because it makes my heart and head hurt. No liner notes? What about the album covers? No comforting hiss as the needle connects with the vinyl groove?? What?? Everything is played on a phone or a computer, streamed through a Sonos speaker (an obvious plug for my husband’s company!), or whatever-you-prefer.

Essentially, this means that for the sake of argument, kids today don’t really know what it means to have a cohesive, seamless album. To them, it is a collection of songs, and that’s at BEST. Many times, it isn’t even that. It’s one song. Maybe they put it into a playlist, maybe they just do a shuffle of a variety of artists/bands they like.

What do you mean, a collection of songs?

This is incredibly different this is from my own listening habits. Even when I stream, it is rare that I don’t listen to a full album at a time. I don’t like the idea of jumping around, particularly when we’re talking about *gasp* listening to more than one artist at a time. I like hearing a full album from one artist – start to finish – and then moving on. Maybe I’ve just got a raging case of OCD!

The thing is, I believe each album tells a story. It’s up to the listener to get it – but it’s there to consume. At the very least, each album is a snapshot of that period in time. I like that. To me, Paper Gods, for example, is a tale of the band’s career from their beginnings to 2015. Seven and the Ragged Tiger as another example, is about dealing with fame and success. When I listen to those albums (and the others as well), I think about the lyrics, the music, and what the band may have been trying to communicate at the time. For me, that’s a huge part of the listening experience.

As much as I feel like my way – consuming the album as the artist intended – is right, there are many other people who like the idea of an album just being a collection of songs. Sometimes, the song order needs a good tweaking. Maybe the album order really has no purpose other than how it ended up on the record! Perhaps the album order isn’t as much about telling a story as placement for commercial purpose. I’m sure that somewhere, there’s a study proving that most people only listen to the first 3 songs on each side of an album, and that the front (A) side is listened to twice as often as the B side. I’m not surprised.

I want the fairy tale

My problem, is that I still want to believe in the fairy tale. I want to believe that every album has a story, that the band still loves making music for the artful sake of it. Tours are done because they enjoy playing live, and that they do the meet and greets with fans because they like them. I want to still believe they play where they want, and that business has little to do with it. How cute, right?

Cognitively though, I know that money drives most every decision they make, because it must. Someone has to be thinking about the bottom line, am I right? Writing this blog for close to a decade hasn’t always made it easy to believe in the romance of fandom. I know, for example, that after forty years, a lot of this is just the “grind” to them. They didn’t sell-out, they’ve been doing business! A band does things like put out five versions of an album, or releases concert dates like a coffee drip because it makes them money. They don’t announce dates because they want the same diehard fans to be able to travel from show-to-show. In actuality, they don’t care who is the seats as long as there’s a warm body in them. Even so, from time to time, I still want that fandom fairy tale. No, I don’t just want it, I need it. So for me, the album becomes a story that only a fan would completely understand.

With all of that in mind, there’s nothing wrong with seeing an album as a simple collection of songs. After all, once the band has finished their writing, recording, engineering and mixing, and the album has been mastered and finally released – it is no longer theirs. It is their gift, or their work, for those who wish to consume it. Their blood, sweat, laughter, and tears ends up in our ears, to have and hold. To listen, reimagine, and rearrange. It then becomes our own story, the way we wish to hear it. I can’t fault anyone for going the extra mile between skipping a song – which lets face it – we all tend to do from time to time, and rearranging an album. The way you listen to Duran Duran isn’t a determining factor of fandom.

I do wonder though, how many people out there really listen to an album as it is originally released, and how many like to change it up? I don’t mean putting entire albums into a massive playlist and hitting ‘shuffle’, I mean single albums. Do you listen to them ‘as is’, or have you created your own version? Why or why not? Drop me a line and let me know!

-R

Transcendence

Where were you?

I can’t ignore the elephant in the room this morning. While I don’t know how many people outside of the USA follow basketball, I know that most people who live here knew of Kobe Bryant. Yesterday, he was in a serious helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. None of the nine people on board survived.

At some point during the afternoon, one of the television news anchors commented that this would be one of those moments where we would all be able to recall where we were when we first heard the news. I was sitting on the retaining wall overlooking our side yard. I’d lazily picked up my phone, quickly scrolling through Facebook when I saw something my sister had posted about the accident. At first, I thought it had to be a hoax. Within seconds though, I was able to see it was real.

There are some people who just transcend. For example, I am about as far away from a basketball fan as possible. The last time I sat through a full game, Michael Jordan was still playing for the Chicago Bulls! Yet, I knew who Kobe Bryant was. I was neither fan, nor foe. As time wore on past his retirement from the sport, he successfully redefined himself from basketball player, to philanthropist and business leader. He earned the respect of the public not through words, but action.

Elevated beyond fandom

I think what surprises me most in this particular situation is that nearly everyone I know took at least a second to send their good wishes, whether on Facebook, Twitter, or elsewhere. It doesn’t seem to matter if you were a fan of Kobe, a basketball fan, or just a regular person – he transcended all of it. He was someone that people globally looked up to, admired, and/or hero worshipped. There are some people who are elevated beyond fandom. Kobe Bryant was one of those individuals.

This morning, I can’t help but think about how forty-one years wasn’t long, yet he did so much with that time. Now, I realize for his wife, family, and surviving children – it wasn’t nearly enough time. That, I understand completely. Even so, to most people who aren’t personally affected by the loss (beyond that of being a fan, I mean) – Kobe did an amazing amount of “good” with the time he had on this planet. That alone seems to be something to admire.

I’m sure some may point out that he had less-than-perfect moments. In 2003, Bryant was accused of rape. I watched as his wife Vanessa stayed by his side, even as Kobe admitted to adultery. At the time, I wondered if the seemingly perfect Bryant was really a rapist in disguise. I’m sure many people still wonder. It would seem to me, though, that the body of work left behind is worth a lot as evidence of the true person.

Legacies live on

Ultimately though, Kobe Bryant’s legacy will live on, at least as long as his fans are alive. When things like this happen, I wonder how I’ll feel when the day comes that one of my biggest heroes passes on.

I’ll be blunt (as always) – for me, Duran Duran changed the direction of my life as an adult. I became a blogger. I traveled a little, made friends, and learned a lot about myself, music, and people. The idea that people who created something so pivotal for me will eventually pass on isn’t a good one. I don’t know what that day will be like, only that I would eagerly opt out if at all possible. I’m sure that is how many of Kobe’s most ardent fans felt as they read the news yesterday.

Rest In Peace

My thoughts are with Vanessa Bryant, her surviving children – who lost not only a husband and father, but also a daughter and sister yesterday, along with the families of all those on board that helicopter yesterday.

Yes, it is likely that I’ll always remember where I was on this fateful day. Similarly to how I recall coming out of my sixth grade science & math classroom to see my friend Marsha sobbing over the loss of John Lennon in 1980. There are some things, and some people, that just transcend everything else.

-R

I Should Be on Solid Ground

Before I dive into today’s blog, I want to apologize again for yesterday’s lack of a blog. I had hopes that I might be able to do a quick blog of sorts in the morning before I left for work but the brain and computer weren’t working. It might have something to do with me being overwhelmed with finals (many of them still await my grading). Anyway, I apologize.

The last couple of weeks have meant finishing up the first semester and getting ready for the next one. Part of me hates this time of the year as the grading is way too much but another part of me likes that we get to restart. It also means a number of meetings to reset there, too. In the middle of one of these meetings, I had a realization. Bear with me as I try to explain this. It seems to me that there are some fundamentals in which people build their lives. For many people, this foundation of sorts includes family, friends, a career, a community, etc. If all of those are working as they should, life feels good. It doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is perfect, just that it feels normal, safe, relatively predictable.

In thinking about all of this, I realized that my foundation has been shook over the last decade or so. In some cases, there have just been little cracks like my parents have both had health concerns and I recognize that they aren’t getting any younger. Other areas have been more dramatically affected. In teaching U.S. history, we discuss how the United States have ideals that include liberty, democracy, equality, etc. Through actions both at the state level and nationally, those ideals seem like nothing more than pipe dreams, at times. Even with my career, aspects that I expected no longer seem possible, forget about probable. All this has left me feeling shaken, disturbed, anxious, unsafe.

Where does that leave fandom? Good question. When I first started touring, it was all about fun. Life was relatively good and going on tour, posting on message boards just made life a little better. Then, as more and more has happened to shake my foundation, fandom has taken on a different role. For awhile, when the rest of life began to be so uncertain, I looked to fandom to provide the one “normal” part of life. I could count on it to be an escape, a fun time with friends. I desperately clung to it. If you even look back to blogs I had written in 2011, 2012, 2013 you could sense this. I needed the band to finish an album, go on tour, etc. It was the only thing that felt right. Now, I’m not even sure that fandom feels that solid as well and I don’t even know why. Maybe it is simply because the rest of my foundation is so badly shaken that the cracks have hit even fandom. I don’t know. I know that if I were to go on tour, it would still be an amazingly fun time but the going on tour part seems uncertain for the first time.

I don’t know where this goes from here. I have no clue. Really, the only thing I know is that I would like some part of my life to feel safe, that I could trust it. I would the ground to stop shifting beneath my feet. I would welcome it if that part would be fandom. One hundred percent. But like everything else, I have more questions than answers about whether or not that is possible and what if anything can be done about it.

So what about the rest of you? Has fandom changed in terms of where it fit into your life or why you participated? How do you feel about your fandom moving forward?

-A

Out In the Stars

There’s one I want to meet

Every once in a while, I run across something I either haven’t seen before, or forgotten that I’ve already seen! Today while browsing Facebook, a link for a fan-made video for “Northern Lights” popped up. I have the vaguest recollection of hearing that this existed, so I clicked on the link.

The video is complete with titles, suggesting that it was produced by Duran Duran (not exactly), and takes scenes from 1977’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, mixed with what I believe are clips from “What Happens Tomorrow”. Overall, it isn’t a bad piece of video, and provides a little visual context to the music. Props to ReborninOktober for the effort. (This person has done videos for other DD deep cuts as well – check them out on YouTube)

Coming round now to share

While I watched, I thought about how the band ran a video production contest for the entire All You Need is Now album. Fans submitted videos for each of the songs and the band chose their favorites. I seem to recall the videos being shown before DD gigs on that tour at some point. It was a great way to showcase fan production along with meeting their need for videos. After all, at one point or another, they had mentioned a hope of doing videos for the entire album. Done!

In this day and age, I’m not sure of the value behind music videos. My kids, for instance, don’t ever mention them. All three of them are avid You-Tube viewers, but music videos aren’t the type of content that keeps them going. It would seem to me that it is only my generation, the MTV kids of the 80s, that hold them with any sort of esteem. These days, marketing a rock band takes a different sort of direction from great lighting, story boards and say—supermodels.

Do you hear my wish

Don’t get me wrong, I love music videos. I’m one of those 1980s holdovers. While I have eagerly gotten on board with social media of all kinds, and loved connecting with the band when they were active on Twitter, I miss good videos. I miss good Duran Duran videos. Hell, I miss real MTV! I don’t know if it’s really the type of music I listen to that ages me, as much as my enthusiastic eagerness to back another music video channel that sends me straight to middle age. However, who takes the time and creativity with music videos anymore? I think maybe they’ve become something more of an afterthought than anything else of value.

So, where does that leave us? I dare suggest we’re at a point where fans take the effort into their own hands. All across YouTube, I find live performance clips, amateur photo montages, cleverly chopped and edited video mashings, and even expertly storyboarded, completely original production masterpieces—all done by fans, and not just for Duran Duran, but a plethora of bands, musicians, and artists. While at one point I may have worried about copyright material (and perhaps the lawyer types out there still do), I also consider the artistry and creativity, done with the inspiration of a favorite artist. While I doubt there’s any mistaking most, if not all of these videos for Russel Mulcahey’s genius, it is likely his work that served as brainchild and inspiration for many of these people.

Nothing I would rather like

No, it isn’t MTV. I suspect there will never be another. I do spend a little time mourning over those days gone by. I have a deep sense of gratitude for the era in which I grew up and matured. I also appreciate that in this day and age, we’ve been given tools to create our own masterpieces if we so choose. Many fans have done just that, and while they’re not widely broadcast, there are plenty out there worth watching. Sometimes, I’m even hard pressed to decide if it’s an official video or not!

In the meantime, here’s the link to a video for “Northern Lights”. If anyone happens to come across a video to share – let me know!

-R