Tag Archives: Duran Duran fandom

It’s a Lonely Burning Question

Our little corner of the world is certainly small, isn’t it? The longer I am a participant in the fan community for Duran Duran, the more I realize just how tiny it really is.

Unlike most other bands I go to see in concert, with Duran Duran I tend to be more involved. (Shocking, right?) I subscribe to their fan club (DuranDuranMusic), and I tend to buy VIP tickets to most shows because I’m greedy and I want the best seats. I can’t lie about that. The thing is, there are quite a few of you out there – many of you reading, actually – that are right there with me!

I am I myself alone

I don’t make it my business to introduce myself to the “who’s-who” in the fan community. I’m not buddies with each and every person who seems to be attached to the band in one sense or another. I’m not somebody who will go bouncing up to someone I’d call a “well-known fan” just because I recognize them and want to make nice. That’s not me. I hate approaching people as it is, unless I’m comfortable and actually know them.

There’s no way I’m going to just insert myself into someone’s evening just because I happen to know they’re friends with a roadie, married to someone in management, or is actually on “the team”. I would be a horrible politician, and it is very obvious that I’m not the greatest at making connections. All one has to do is look at my LinkedIn to know that I fail horribly at networking. I always assume I’m putting someone out, or that I’d be bothering them. I guess I’ve mostly stayed to myself, as much as one can when they write a familiar blog, I guess??

The thing is, and I’m going to be brutally open about this – the “It” list of fans, you know the ones – they tend to be at most of the shows, they always seem to know where and when to be, and how to get places that normal, everyday fans don’t – aren’t really on our reader list. At least, not that *I* know of. They’re not usually people who will even admit to reading this, or any fan blog for that matter. I suppose we might be a bit too pedestrian, maybe too wide-eyed, and probably far too “Fan” like. With a capital F. I get it.

Got to show now, got to move on

In a lot of ways, I’m more of a watcher than a participant. I remember a number of years back when I was in Chicago for a show. A group of us met up afterward and walked to a local bar. When we got there, the place was packed, to the point where we were turned away at the door because it had reached capacity. We stood outside for a bit, trying to decide where to go next. As I glanced towards the windows of the bar, I saw somebody inside. She was waving at me and kind of laughing. I could guess what she was laughing about. There I was, along with a small group of others, proverbially on the outside looking in. She was IN, along with several members of the band, I might add, and we were most definitely OUT. Weakly, I waved back and tried not to feel like a complete loser. Story of my life.

At every single show I attend, I’ll see quite a few of the same people. Over and over again. I silently marvel at how they’re able to be everywhere. It isn’t jealousy as much as it’s curiosity. I know how tough it is for me to be at the several shows I can attend each tour, and I can promise that from here on out – it will be far less than it was during Paper Gods. (Or so my husband assures) How do they manage?!? Even more so, I’ll watch other fans flock to these people, befriend them, and situate themselves near them. I don’t even know their names or who they are beyond their faces, and yet the fan-community-at-large are already Facebook friends with them, at the very least! On one hand, I’m surprised I don’t know everyone’s name by now, I guess. On the other, I am not one of those super outgoing and bubbly people.

Puts my faith in none of the above

The kicker for me, is when I’m online and happen to be reading a Facebook post or reading through a Twitter thread. As I go through it, I realize that most all of my friends are actually connected, to some of those people I mentioned above. They’re not just “social media” connected, but obviously know them. Or maybe I’m surprised by people who have not really been active in the fan community for very long (not that they haven’t been fans – that’s different), but are very connected to the “A list” of fans and people in the Duran Duran circle. Perhaps I’m shocked when I realize that the reason why so-and-so IS at all of the shows is because she’s married to somebody who works for the band. It could be a million other scenarios, because for as long as I’ve been in the fan community, or have been actively blogging – I know very little about the people within.

I know how people behave as a group. The trends and patterns of behavior are easy for me to recognize. I can, and have helped put together some really fun meet-ups and parties over the years. But do I really KNOW people?

Probably not so much. It is strange how one can blog for eight years and yet really still be on the outside looking in, isn’t it?

-R

Shelter of my Heart

There are weeks when I’m pretty sure you’ve heard entirely too much from me. This may be one of them.

Yesterday, I composed a post that wasn’t all that easy to write. Well, I take that back – it actually wasn’t difficult at all for me to write, but I was a little concerned about how some might take it. Writing the words was actually the easy part. It felt wonderful to just put it all out there and be free of the burden. The more uncomfortable portion was knowing that once the words were out there, I really didn’t have any control over how they were read or digested.

Girl, you’re looking beat and cold

Twenty-four hours later, and I realize that I need to clarify a couple of things. First of all, I’m not suicidal. Please know and understand that. I appreciate the concern, but I can 100% promise that I’m nowhere near that point. Yes, I know how to ask for help. I will just say that contemplating the possibility six months ago, and being truly suicidal are incredibly different things.

Second, writing this blog gives me joy. It is the one escape I had last year, and there were some weeks where it felt like the only bright spot in each day. So the suggestion that I should take a step back or take an extended break, however well-intended, is the wrong advice for me OR Amanda. I appreciate the thought, but in this case, it would do far more harm than good.

In my imagination this is how the message reads

I can understand the confusion though. I did write about the tug-of-war between the pressures of real life, fandom and even blogging. That is true. That tug-of-war does exist. When I’m blogging, working on the website, talking with friends about which B-sides should have really been album tracks, or even planning a trip to Vegas – I know there are other things I should be doing here at home. Like perhaps planning the school day for my youngest. When I’m focusing solely on parenting, being a good partner and that kind of thing, I know I’m ignoring my friends and other things I like, and I start wishing for an escape plan. It’s a juggle, and the key is balancing it all, right? That’s a normal, constant thing for everyone – and 99% of the time, I can do it no problem. Last year though, that was different.

Let me try to explain again. Picture walking up a fairly steep hill. It is a trek you’re used to, and you’re used to carrying a large bag with you. It is heavy and you’ve got to go slow, but you can do it. Truth be told, you like doing it because the scenery is beautiful along the way, but yeah – it’s hard.

Then one day, you’re asked to carry not just one bag, but three. Two bags aren’t awful because you’ve got two hands and you can balance, but three requires a little more finesse. Of course, the added bonus is that the bags are really heavy and filled to the brim. You start off fine, but then some stuff falls out of one of the bags, and as you’re bending over to grab that stuff more falls out of the others. You keep trying to pick stuff up but things keep toppling out of the bags. Eventually, your knee gives out and you fall down completely. That was sort of how I felt last year. I was at my lowest point just before summer, I think.

Reaching out

I felt like writing that post yesterday was important not just for me, but for anybody. I’ve never been diagnosed with depression. I’ve never been quite that “low” before. I do have anxiety from time to time, and I’m high-strung (that shouldn’t be a shock to anyone), but again – last year was different. I think when we envision someone who is struggling, we assume they aren’t functioning. We think that when someone is really depressed, they’re unable to get out of bed, or they’re a shut-in, hiding under blankets or staring blankly at the ceiling fan as it spins in slow circles.

So, I’d write. Sometimes, I’d just barely graze the pile of feelings I had steadily growing in the pit of my stomach, just to see if it stung. “Yep. Still burns a bit. That must mean I’m still alive, right?” I’d quickly go back to vague-posts, because it was far safer. I never really had anyone asking me questions, and to be honest – my husband, engineer-that-he-is, never seemed to notice anything any different. Some people would ask if I was alright, but I always played it off brilliantly (or so I thought). “Yeah, we’re totally fine. Just super busy! It’s really hard getting the house ready to sell. Just look at all of those bins. Crazy, huh?”  

You know you’re in deep when you start believing your own B.S. I’m pretty sure John Taylor said that somewhere in his autobiography. If he didn’t, he should have…and if he did, he’s right! You’d think I was trying to masterfully cover up an addiction. I wasn’t. I was just trying to make sure no one knew how far down in the pit of depression I really was. Feelings. Icky.

Calling Out

But anyway, back to the writing thing. I write. I don’t have any real answers here except that for whatever reason – it is far easier for me to get the words out while typing than while talking. I’m gloriously weird that way. I can’t tell you that I’m really hurting, or that I am considering suicide, or that I’m a numbskull because I once fell in love with a rock star…but I can write about it all day long.

A few people with kind intentions thought that the pressure of Daily Duranie is what dragged me down, so maybe taking a step back would ease the pain. Thankfully, I’m really not depressed anymore. I’m not completely back to normal, primarily because I’m still settling into a new house and town – so things are just weird (but I like it). I’m getting there, though. Even if I were still feeling low, I would want to keep blogging. However, if somebody wants to come clean the house, do my laundry, teach my youngest, run my errands, and deal with my husband…I’m totally open to that, and it seems like a pretty good deal to me!

Hear me now

I hope this clarifies a bit. I’m sorry this isn’t a feel-good story about how Duran Duran saved my life. In some ways though, I suppose they helped. The moments I spent writing this past year brought some much needed sunshine onto my face. While it wasn’t necessarily a song, or toothy-grins from a band I’ve loved since my teen years that brought me back over the edge – the act of writing certainly helped. I can thank Duran Duran for that.

Let us all hope this is the last post I write about depression.

-R


Cracks in the Pavement

Sometimes, fitting fandom into real life is hard. “Adulting” is tough enough, and squeezing the one true escape I’ve got into all of that isn’t always that simple. I think that’s why there have been times when I’ve conceded and given in to the daily pressures.

I don’t know if I’m the only crazy person out there that sees it this way, or if it’s a common thing. For me, it is as though I immersed myself in Duran Duran for a few years. I wrote this blog, went to many shows (more than I probably had business being at, in hindsight), researched and wrote a paper along with two manuscripts, and spread myself remarkably thin between my husband, children, family, my job at the time, Duran Duran, and friends. At some point, something had to give.

I shed my skin when the party was about to begin

Then late last year, something did. My husband lost his job, and that sent my immediate family into several months of turmoil. I couldn’t ignore what was going on at home, and so my attention turned inward. There’s no pretty way to say this: I was scared. There were a number of really bad things that happened along the way to make the pain even worse for all of us, but my family and I made it, for the most part. He found a great job, and then we needed to think about moving. Who knew that would take six months?!? They say that moving is one of the most stressful things you’ll ever do, and “they” aren’t kidding.

At the time, I felt like I was constantly pushing a rather large boulder up a giant hill. That wasn’t unusual for me though. Even in the past, when I was focused on researching and writing – something I completely enjoy – I still felt the boulder threatening to roll backward and flatten me if I didn’t keep up the momentum. I know for sure I’m not the only person out there that feels this way. As we all know, one can only push that boulder for so long, and then they give up. So I think in some sense, I just laid down and let it bowl me over last year.

I’m making a break for the shadows

In the aftermath, I found myself in a rather deep and dark place. I did feel rather alone, despite Amanda checking on me – there were some things I just couldn’t/wouldn’t talk about, or admit to myself. I tried very hard to make it seem like I had it together, when really – I wanted to crawl into bed, hide, and never come out. I don’t even think my husband ever really knew how deep and dark I felt. I love the guy, but counseling is not his forté.

When I get overwhelmed, which I very much was at the time, I try to break down lists into reasonable daily tasks. I’m not really a list maker – to be honest even making the list can sometimes overwhelm the heck out of me, which it did with moving. So I lived day to day, knowing the few things that had to happen on that day, and getting them done. It was the way I survived without having a heart attack, and I mean that with every fiber of my being.

Don’t want to be in public

I can honestly say that if it weren’t for writing the blog, I don’t think I would have even thought about Duran Duran during the past year. I didn’t want to listen to the music, I didn’t want to hear a single Kafe (although I did), I wouldn’t even read interviews or things like that – and I don’t know why. Walt would even bring them up, or bring up the blog, and I’d wave him off. I didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t want to think about the band. The boulder had already knocked me flat on my back and was down the mountain. I just couldn’t manage. It has taken me an enormous amount of time just to begin reading the Classic Pop magazine that Amanda sent me for my birthday in November. I’m getting there.

There were moments, and if I’m going to completely rip off the band-aid, I’ll say there were weeks at minimum, where I really did wonder if I wanted to continue in this life. I was pretty depressed. Stupid things would make me feel worse – or I should say – I allowed them to make me feel worse. Even as I type the words here, I feel silly about admitting them to the world. Regardless, for me this is healing, and it’s important. It wasn’t just because Walt lost his job, or because I had to quit mine, or because of issues with some extended family. It was because I felt like nothing, and the longer it went on, the worse it seemed to get. I gained weight, I felt gross and ugly, and I felt old! The very last thing I wanted to do was talk to someone, so I didn’t.

Breaking open doors I’ve sealed up before

This isn’t a story about Duran Duran saving me, though. I didn’t just hear a song and realize how great I’ve got it, sorry to say. It is a story about me saving myself. I don’t know what eventually started turning me around – I still go through days where I feel like a robot, but they are becoming less and less. I think that getting away from the traffic, pressures, and hectic nature of So Cal has helped. I love my new house, but I also love the peace. I spend more time outside now, and I’m looking forward to springtime. I texted with Amanda last weekend, and on Thursday we’re Skyping, which is something I would have totally said no to a few months ago. Mostly, I’m living and breathing.

I didn’t share this so that everyone could pat me and say “there, there”. I don’t need that, and I would rather that not happen, actually. I shared my story for a couple of reasons. The first being that by typing the words, admitting the truth and clearing the air – it really does make me feel better. The second is because I think sometimes it is easy to assume that since Amanda and I are writing every day, that we’ve got it together. I think it’s easy to see people online and assume all is well. That isn’t always the case. I’m as guilty of this as anyone else, though. Amanda said to me last weekend that the community can be very superficial, and she needs something deeper. I get that. Sometimes I do, too. I think we all might.

I’m walking back

Everyone manages “real life” differently. I’m not sure that I’m managing it or if it is managing me, but I’m working on it. I had to be reminded this morning that for most people, fandom IS the escape. It isn’t as though I don’t feel that way, but when you write a blog about being a fan every day – I think it is easy to forget.

I really am looking forward to next month. I do need that escape and to be amongst friends that accept me for who I am. In many ways, those friends have become my family – and I need them. I am looking forward to hugging a few people who are very important to me, and I’m excited to see that band onstage again. That’s a start.

-R


Do Crowds Make You Feel Lonely?

How do you feel?

If you read the blog with any kind of regularity, you may have noticed a couple of Amanda’s blogs as of late. She’s going through a bit of a weird time when it comes to fandom and Duran Duran, and I don’t think she’s alone.

I know I see and experience things a lot differently now than I did eight, ten or even fifteen or twenty years back. My emotions about the band – at least the most basic ones – are still the same. Obviously, I still love the music. I still really enjoy hearing from them, whether in Kafe’s or in interviews. That said, I don’t always get to everything right as it’s posted.

Several years back, my day would stop if Duran Duran posted a new Kafe. Well, I can tell you that I still haven’t listened to the year-end Katy Kafes yet. I was moving at the time, and while I had a moment to glance at each of the year-end lists that DDHQ compiled, I really didn’t have opportune moments to sit and listen to the Kafes. Amanda did though, and shared a few things with me that she heard, and there was definitely some giggling, at least on my end.

How do you deal?

We still get a kick out of talking and writing about Duran Duran. When we actually are able to sit down and talk about the band, there’s still a lot of love and joy there. That’s the point though – we don’t spend nearly the same amount of time talking or laughing together.

Quite a bit of that is due to me, and some of it is a result of not having a lot to actually talk about. We aren’t working on a writing project at the moment. Our energy was, and is, being spent elsewhere. I think that makes up a lot of the “magic” when it comes to fandom: you get out of it whatever you put into it.

Back when I was a newbie in the community, participation-wise, I spent hours online. I chatted with my new friends. We made plans. We giggled a lot. I was sold, hook, line, sinker. The community aspect of being a Duranie couldn’t be beat. I put my heart and soul into it, even before I ever blogged a single word. I loved being a fan, more accurately – I loved being a part of the community.

What do you say?

Shoot ahead about five years to the time when we began Daily Duranie. The blog still carries a fair amount of blood, sweat and tears from me (as it does Amanda’s). Things have changed though. I don’t look at this blog as quite the “end all” it once was. The blog doesn’t take up my entire day the way it once did. For example, I don’t think I’m going to find any sort of a career path because I owned and operated a DD-fan blog. Yes, other people have had success – but I think those people have very different personalities and talents that are far better suited to the industry than mine. I’m open to whatever may, or may not, happen.

Acquaintances smile, but that’s no understanding

At one time, I desperately wanted and needed validation from the band. Now, I don’t just mean a wink from the stage or a quick picture with them. I had ridiculously high hopes that ranged from having one of them write the foreword to a book, to actually being taken seriously instead of being labeled as just a fan. I don’t know how or when that changed, but it did. Obviously, it isn’t something I can prove to anyone just by typing the words in a blog post. All I can say is that at one time, having the band’s respect mattered more than my own personal satisfaction, and now – I’m more concerned with how *I* feel about Daily Duranie than having the approval of someone else. For me, that’s huge.

I suppose to some extent it comes down to wanting to be noticed. It is slightly intoxicating to be noticed out of a crowd by someone I admire. That feeling is also addictive, which is why I believe so many fans wait for the band for hours on end. They too, want that moment. Once they get it, they want it again and again. They’re willing to go out of their own way to get it, too. True confession time: I’ve fallen into that trap myself. It is far too easy to fool myself into believing any sort of attention or recognition is paramount to anything else.

At one time, I looked at fandom with some sort of starry, wide-eyed innocence, it just isn’t the same now. Granted, part of me misses feeling that excited sort of buzz that happens whenever I talk about Duran Duran. The thing is, when I really sit and think about it, that feeling is still there. It isn’t my love for the band that has changed. It’s my feeling about the community.

After a while, you keep falling off the same mountain

Fandom still interests the hell out of the both of us. I just don’t feel quite as connected to other fans these days. I don’t know if that’s the same for Amanda. In a lot of ways, I feel like an island out here in the middle of nowhere. I admitted to Amanda that those feelings of listlessness certainly contribute to my not feeling like I can organize a full convention. It is hard to give back when you feel like you’re mostly alone.

Amanda herself said that she looks to her political activity for the same sort of boost she once received from the fan community (and I don’t mean as bloggers – I mean just as fellow fans). I have to believe this is part of the journey, rather than feeling like we’ve just reached the end point.

-R

PS – I was alerted that there are some links online that seem to be generated from Daily Duranie leading to a site impersonating us that gathers personal and financial data. Here is the real deal: we don’t gather personal or financial data. That’s not who we are, and that’s definitely not what we’re about. You have my word on that. We have never interviewed a band member (other than Dom). If we did – we’d be shouting from the rooftops, and everyone would know. Word to the wise: if it looks too good to be true (no, we didn’t interview Simon!), it definitely is! I apologize for the confusion.


I Try to Hold the Rising Floods

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a little blog about how I am concerned that my fandom might be dying. In this blog, I explained how I wasn’t falling out of love with Duran Duran. No, I fully expect that I will always be a fan but I wondered if I was on my way out when it comes to the rest. What do I mean by the rest? Would I still want to go to shows? Would I want to talk about the band with other fans? Would I be interested in planning fan events? Would I stop buying Duran merchandise? Would I want to stop writing here? I could go on and on. The basic idea is that I might stop being part of a community of fans.

After that blog, I didn’t think too much about it. I didn’t worry or fret. I just decided to continue with what I needed to get done. After all, it was a busy time of year with my two jobs and planning for Christmas. Since then, though, I have taken some time to just get caught up. This means that I have really cleaned my house. The Christmas presents were purchased or created and shipped off, when necessary. I made appointments and planned out the next month or so. On top of that, I listened to some year end Katy Kafes and updated the day in Duran history that Rhonda and I keep for this blog. Every time I checked off one item from my do list, I felt better. My list isn’t done even with my almost two full weeks off but the list is a lot smaller. I’m feeling less overwhelmed.

Since my stress has eased some, I am better able to examine where things are in terms of fandom. Overall, I feel like things are better. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the Kafes and found myself smiling throughout them all. The idea of #DD15 gave me some excitement, no matter when it ends up getting done. Honestly, I think that is part of what has made this so tough for me. I have not had much to be excited about when it comes to my fandom. Now, I’m not new to this gig. I know how it goes. It isn’t like there is going to be something in Duraland each and every day that will thrill me. I know this. I recognize and even understand downtime. Heck, I’ve been so busy that I am almost glad that there hasn’t been a lot. I don’t think I would have been able to enjoy it much. It might have even added stress. Nonetheless, I miss having something Duran related to look forward to.

Now, those of you who have been reading this blog know that I do have something Duran related to look forward to. I have a couple of shows coming up in February. My friend, Lori, reminded me that there are less than 50 days until them even. I have to admit that I haven’t given them much thought. Again, I might give the lack of time as the reason and I wouldn’t be lying to say so. But it is more than that. I have missed the friendships that I have grown to associate with Duran Duran and my fandom. It used to be that when there were shows coming up that is all my friends and I would talk about. We became broken records with silly ideas and inside jokes. We had nothing but fun to look forward to. Now, it is different. We don’t talk very much. I wish that we did more, for sure, but I cannot control that. It is hard to develop those funny moments when there aren’t many chances to do so. It seems that we are all busy and have different priorities, for sure. That said, February will be fun. I have no doubt about that. I’m not sure it will be the same kind of good time. It might be more about that escape from reality rather than just letting it all go for a few days. It might be more about the lack of responsibilities as opposed to screaming for band members.

As I type all this, I cannot help but feel older, more settled, less wild. I have worked hard in the last year or so to find that ordinary world that we all crave. I think I have succeeded in that but the one I have made for myself doesn’t have a lot of time and space for my Duran Duran fandom. It felt like something that had to be pushed to the side. Yes, part of that is because I had and have more pressing concerns, but another part is that I didn’t trust that it would be there if and when I reached for it. It began to feel like something in my past rather than my present or my future. Listening to those Kafes made me realize that this feeling wasn’t about the band at all. I still love them to pieces. I look forward to seeing more Duranlive or hearing new music. It had more to do with my life and where I placed fandom in my list of priorities and why. It was still there but much smaller with little reinforcement besides what I got from writing on here.

I’m still not freaking out about any of this. This feeling I have may change. It may grow strong and fandom will take up less and less of my time and my heart. It could also be a situation in which the tiny flame that is barely there might be turned back up to a torch that all can see. Time will tell. Until I know which way for sure, I’ll keep holding the rising flood back from drowning what is left.

-A

As I Watch You Flickering Slowly

Lately, I have been thinking about how fandom dies.  In my experience, I have seen fans leave for a variety of reasons.  The most common ones that I have seen include their lives changing, fulfilling their fan dreams and not liking the direction of the subject of their fandom.

What do I mean by those?  As far life changing, sometimes, people get super busy.  They need to focus their time elsewhere.  It is simply hard for them to think about the subjects of their fandom much until eventually the love slowly fades.  I have also seen fans who have done what they wanted to do in their fandom and did not feel it necessary to continue.  That happened quite a bit after the reunion.  Fans came back to see the Fab Five live or to meet the band or relive their teenage years.  Once they checked those boxes, they were ready to move on.  Lastly, I have also seen fans turn in their fan cards when the subject of the fandom change.  In the case of Duran, maybe, people didn’t like Red Carpet Massacre or were so distraught over Andy leaving that they couldn’t stay.  I have seen it a lot with fans of TV shows when the storyline totally changes.  

These thoughts have risen to the surface because I am wondering if I am on my way out of the Duran Duran fandom.  It isn’t that I feel like I have done everything that I could do as a Duran fan.  If that were the case, I might have decided that after seeing the band in the UK or hitting a certain number of shows.  Yet, I don’t feel that.  I think there is still more that I could do and would want to do.

My thinking definitely isn’t because my love of the band has ended or that I’m concerned with the direction they have taken.  I may not always love everything that they have done but even in projects that aren’t my cup of tea, there is something worthy there.  No, I cannot ever imagine myself not being a fan.  I always will be that.  

I am wondering if I am stepping out of the fan community aspect of being a fan.  In thinking of academic terms, people in fan communities talk about the subject of their fandom and they pay attention to what is going on, news wise.  They are probably commenting on the social media presence of the subject.  For me, lately, I haven’t been very much of any of that.  Of course, a big part could be how busy I am.  (I took on another job on a campaign for the spring election.  It was a huge opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.)  Working two jobs is tough.  It is especially tough when one requires more than a 40 hour week like teaching.  On top of that, my jobs are stressful.  There is a lot of pressure to perform.  That definitely sucks the energy out of other aspects of life.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not complaining about them.  I’m just explaining.

The last couple of years have been tough.  There has been a lot that I have been worried about in terms of my community, both large and small.  It is hard to think about fandom when there are bigger, more pressing, more serious issues to deal with.  I have a hard time turning away from my responsibility as a member of the human race to look towards being a fan.  I try to because I know it renews me and makes it easier for me to face the tough stuff of life but it is hard.  On top of those concerns about the world around me, there have been more worries when it comes to the health and well-being of my parents.  That’s huge for me and definitely pulls me away, often times with less emotional support than I need.  This means it is harder for me at the moment and takes longer for me to bounce back.

Then, of course, there is the band.  It has been quiet.  I don’t blame them at all.  They need and deserve a break, but it does make it harder for me.  Instead, my mind goes elsewhere.  It also means that there is a lot less conversation between me and my Duranie friends.  In fairness, some of that is on me because I just don’t talk about the band as much as I could.  Nonetheless, it is a bad combination of blah. 

Let me be clear.  I don’t want to lose my Duranie card.  I’m trying hard to hold on.  I wore a Duran shirt to staff development day last week and brought them up at meetings, hoping to breath a little life into my fandom.  I’m determined to keep writing because that ties me to the fandom even if I don’t tweet or post responses on the band’s social media.  I’m planning on being excited for the shows in February.  But I’m worried that I need more.  What suggestions do you all have?  What should I be doing that I’m not?  I need ideas that don’t take up a lot of time but keep my Duranie fires burning.  What do you do to renew your fandom?

-A

Wish List 2018

‘Tis the season for wish lists, right?  They could be specific to one of the holidays celebrated in December or they could be in reference to hopes for the following year.  Some people create and share them and others feel strongly against them.  In my family, we create and share them.  I like giving gifts but I like to give ones that people actually want.  On top of that, I have no idea what people have so lists are helpful.  I do understand that it feels selfish to ask for specific items or that you are forcing people to buy you something by sending a wish list.  For me, though, it is about giving gifts rather than getting gifts.  

My dad usually has the world’s worst list.  For example, in the past, he literally had down toothbrushes and shaving cream.  Okay.  That’s super not fun.  Sometimes, though, he has put something on the list that is bigger, more serious and usually unable to be acquired.  We just have to wish for them.  For example, for the Christmas of 2004, he put down a world series championship for the White Sox.  We got it in 2005.  This year he asked for no serious health concerns as my dad was hospitalized twice this year.  I want the same thing for him.  

This got me thinking, though.  What would I put on my fandom related wish list.  What do I hope for both in terms of tangible items and beyond when it comes to Duran Duran?  I probably shouldn’t put things that are totally crazy like having John Taylor come over to my house but at the same time…my dad did put down a championship and got it.  What would be the fandom equivalent?  Here’s what I came up with:

New Music

I know what you are all thinking.  You expect me to say that I would love for the band to release #DD15 next year.  Well, you would be right…sort of.  Yes, of course, I want new Duran music.  Who doesn’t? Yet, at the same time, I recognize that I cannot force the creative process.  No one can.  What this means is that I promised myself that I would be patient and understanding.  Would I love for the whole album?  Sure.  But I also get that it might be asking too much.  Would I settle for a single/song?  Sure.  Absolutely.  I would definitely be down for that.  I’m good even with little snippets of what they are working on.  I think we would all understand that whatever we would hear would be a work in progress.  I just would love to feel that excitement of having new music around, in some way, shape or form.

More Studio!

I don’t know about the rest of you but I simply adored seeing any and all pictures from the studio!  I probably didn’t comment on much but I certainly felt a warm glow each time a picture was posted.  It reminded me that there were still some things in the world that were good and positive.  It gave me something to look forward to.  I would love more of that.  Again, I’m trying not to be too picky or demanding.  I would take a little something every once in awhile.  Please and thank you.

February Shows

I am very much looking forward to seeing the band play live in February.  Rhonda and I will be at the two shows in Las Vegas.  Now, again, people might think that I’m requesting a new setlist or some different songs or something along those lines.  I’m not, though.  I feel like I should just be happy that they are playing and that I get to see them.  That’s enough for me.  Sure, I would love some different songs that we don’t usually hear, but I’m good with the same Paper Gods setlist.  That said, I hope that they play more shows in 2019.  I know that there are lots of places that they haven’t come to in awhile that would love shows.  (Heck, even the Midwest would love some shows.  Hint hint.)  I hope that those fans get that chance to see them in 2019, too.

Merchandise

Should I ask for Duran related stuff?  I like getting and collecting Duran stuff.  I’m not that serious of a collector like I know others are out there.  (More power to you, by the way.  I don’t have time to do all that.)  In all honesty, I feel like I’m pretty good with my Duran related stuff but I do keep waiting for the Live from Japan DVD.  It would bring back so much about the Paper Gods Tour that it would be a must buy.  (I wish that they had a live DVD and album for each touring cycle.)  I would be able to put that on and just let the absolutely fun memories engulf me.  It would be good.  I also noticed that there is a new t-shirt design on the band’s official web store.  Even though, I have a lot of Duran shirts, I like it.

Fandom Renewal

Do you know what I would love more than anything in 2019?  I would love to fall in love with being a fan, a Duranie all over again.  Lately, I have found myself drifting away from Duranland.  There are a variety of reasons for this but it makes me sad.  Being a Duranie brings me such joy and if I don’t feel that…well, it isn’t good.  So, I’m hoping that no matter what else is fulfilled on my fandom wish list, I hope for this.  I know that I need it.

So, that’s my Duran Duran fandom wish list.  What would be on yours?

-A

Duran Duran Fandom Museum

The other day I got an email about a future Comic Con museum.  Immediately, I was intrigued.  What would this museum entail, I wondered.  From a quick glance, I noticed that the plan is to include various items from all sorts of popular culture like the car from Back to the Future and original comics.  Fascinating.  This got me thinking. While this museum focuses on many different fandoms like TV, movies, comics and more, what would a museum based on Duran Duran fandom be like.

First of all, we would need rooms dedicated to Duran Duran.  I think it would be cool to have separate rooms or galleries per era.  For example, the All You Need Is Now room might look like the video for AYNIN with the tinfoil like walls,  It might have splashes of pink like the album cover.  Inside the gallery, you can listen to all the songs featured on the album.  There would also be video space to watch the videos for AYNIN and Girl Panic.  Perhaps, a mini-concert venue would be created to match the stage setup with A Diamond in the Mind playing on a continuous loop.  Maybe you could also watch interviews from that era along with the behind the scenes footages included in the special edition DVD.  Of course, touring outfits might be displayed along with merchandise examples from that era.  As soon as you stepped into the gallery, it would bring you right back to 2010 or 2011.

What else would need to be a part of the Duran Duran Fandom museum?  As much as I love the idea of celebrating the band, I would also want spaces focused on the fans.  Then what?  One idea I had is to have a mock bedroom from 1984 with the walls covered in posters, the Reflex playing, t-shirts from the Sing Blue Silver tour hanging in the closet with teen magazines spread all around.  The museum could also make it interactive so you could get a copy of a magazine to take home with you or a spot in a mock living room to watch the premiere of a video on MTV.

What elements of modern day fandom would need to be included?  What about something with social media?  I think about how the band had Twitter flashing on the screen before the shows in 2011 and during Tiger Tiger.  Could a room allow that, too?  What about having different screens capture the various kinds of social media or allow fans to be the person behind Duran’s social media for one post or tweet?  Maybe there could be prizes for a museum related Tweetstake?

I have to say that it is super fun just thinking about ideas.  I know that I loved the Only After Dark night in Birmingham which is a night to recreate the Rum Runner with the atmosphere of it as well as the soundtrack to it.  It would be cool to have that as a permanent gallery or event connected to the museum.  There definitely should a be place for fans to go clubbing with music and drinks.  That is a big part of my fandom.

What about the idea of having life size pictures of the band so people can take selfies who might never get a chance in real life?  How about allowing fans to buy or rent touring outfits and then getting your picture taken on a stage like a member of the band?

Should there be an introductory video with a history of the band and what they have accomplished?  What about a gallery about their influences as well as who they have had an impact on?  There must be a gift shop to be able to buy merchandise not only about the museum itself but also cool, unique Duran items.

I truly think that the ideas are pretty limitless.  As someone with a history degree and some experience working at museums (I worked in two different ones in college) and in my college archives, I think I would be up for the challenge.  I could also seek additional school, if necessary, to get another master’s in museum studies as well as seek advice from my sister who was the director of a museum for a while and my sister-in-law who was a historian at an historic site.  Seriously, how cool would that be?!  Heck, it would be super cool just to visit it!  Maybe we should start thinking about taking a collection to get this started!  Meanwhile, do share what you would love to see in a museum about Duran fandom!

-A

Faster Than Light: Duran Fans and the Question of the Day

I have been a part of the Duran Duran fandom for years.  For many of those years, I also spent a lot of time watching, observing and thinking about our fan community.  What do we think?  What are we passionate about?  What kinds of activities do we like?  How do we like to express our fandom?  Sometimes, I think I’m starting to figure out our community and other times…I am not sure that I have a clue.

A couple of weeks ago, I started a new set of questions of the day.  I thought it might be fun to watch a different interview each day and then score it.  When the idea came up, it seemed like others were on board.  Initially, we had a bunch of people participate in those polls.  Interestingly enough, I started the interviews from 1981, then 1982, 1983, etc. moving closer and closer to the present.  As we have moved through the 1980s interviews and onto the 1990s interviews, I noticed that we are getting less and less participation.  This makes me sad.  I always hope that the question of the day is just something that people look forward to daily and get them thinking at least for a few minutes about Duran.  Yet, it doesn’t seem like that is the case.

Of course, the social scientist in me has thought about why this might be the case.  Is that people don’t have time to watch an interview each day?  That could be.  I know that I can relate.  My job takes a lot of my time and I continue to be involved in political affairs.  If I didn’t take the time in the morning, I wouldn’t have it.  Is it about when the interviews are from?  The 1980s interviews got a lot more participation.  Why is that?  Could it be these interviews weren’t ever seen before but the more result ones have been?  Could it be that the 1980s is simply a time period in Duran history that is more loved?  What about a combination of both or all of the above?  I think all of those are possibilities.  No matter the reason for the lack of participation, the question now is what to do.

First, I think I will at least finish one round of these questions, meaning that I will share some interviews until we get to the most recent interview.  After that, I think we need to change the question of the day to something that requires less time.  I think it might be fun to ask a set of questions that we did before but have not done for years.  That said, I want to know what you all think.  So, I put a little survey together.  Which question should I go with?

I appreciate everyone’s vote!  It will definitely help me to make the question of the day the most fun possible!

-A

Duranie Homework: 20 Not Needed Songs

Assignment:  20 Duran Duran That Are Not Needed

Directions:  Your task is to create a list of 20 songs that Duran Duran does not need in their catalog.  We all know that Duran has many, many, many exceptional songs.  In fact, they have so many that they could afford to get rid of a few without any impact on their greatness.  Am I right?  (If you don’t agree, just don’t participate.  I’m just doing this for fun.)  I’m thinking of songs that you might skip over or would not miss if they were not there.  These songs might be not bad…they just aren’t as awesome as the rest.  So, on that note, you can include any song from any album with a few exceptions:

  • You cannot include any songs that originally written or performed by someone other than Duran Duran (no cover songs)
  • You cannot include any live tracks or songs performed live on the album
  • You cannot include any song from any solo or side project of Duran Duran (this means no Power Station, Arcadia, The Devils, TV Mania, Neurotic Outsiders, Simon solo, John solo, Dom solo and more).

What does songs that we do not need mean?  That is up to your interpretation.  Could it be the worst songs, in your opinion?  Sure.  Could it be the ones musically that they missed the mark?  Of course.  Could it include the least meaningful lyrics?  Absolutely.  You may take into consideration commercial success of the songs.  You may think about ones that fans dismiss or don’t like.  Perhaps, your list will include just the ones that you personally are not fond of or ones you are sick of.  It is up to you.

Do not feel pressure to include songs from each album.  It is acceptable to pick only from a few albums or from all of them.

Your assignment just needs to include the list of 20 tracks that Duran could survive without.  Normally, I would encourage you to put them in some sort of order but that feels icky bad. While you do not need to include an explanation of why you chose the songs you did, if you would like to include that as well, that is acceptable.

How You Turn in Your Assignment:

Due:  Sunday, December 16 (one month from yesterday!)

How:  You may turn in your assignment in a variety of ways:

  1. Send your list to our email:  dailyduranie@gmail.com
  2. Send your list to our twitter
  3. Send your list to our facebook

DO NOT share it publicly.  We would like to look at the results and blog about them first.  Then, we would welcome each participant sharing.  That said, please share this assignment widely.  The more Duranies the better in order to produce a solid list.  Yes, ideally, we would have a list of the top 40 Duran Duran tracks as decided by Duranies rather than an author from a magazine.

-A

P.S. Some people have asked me to share all of the songs that people included in the last assignments about Top 40 tracks.  Here is the list in alphabetical order (I think I got most of them!):

  • All Along the Water
  • All She Wants Is
  • All You Need Is Now
  • A Matter of Fact
  • A Matter of Feeling
  • American Science
  • Anyone Out There
  • Astronaut
  • A View to a Kill
  • Beautiful Colours
  • Bedroom Toys
  • Before the Rain
  • Be My Icon
  • Being Followed
  • Big Bang Generation
  • Big Thing
  • Box Full O Honey
  • Breath After Breath
  • Buried in the Sand
  • Burning the Ground
  • Butterfly Girl
  • Can You Deal with It
  • Careless Memories
  • Chains
  • Change the Skyline
  • The Chauffeur
  • Cinderella Ride
  • Come Undone
  • Cracks in the Pavement
  • Cry Baby Cry
  • Danceophobia
  • Do You Believe in Shame
  • Drowning Man
  • The Edge of America
  • Electric Barbarella
  • Face For Today
  • Faith in This Colour
  • Fallen Angel
  • Falling Down
  • Faster Than Light
  • Finest Hour
  • First Impression
  • Friends of Mine
  • Girl Panic
  • Girls on Film
  • Hold Back the Rain
  • Hold Me
  • Hungry Like the Wolf
  • I Believe/All I Need To Know
  • I Don’t Want Your Love
  • Is There Something I Should Know
  • I Take the Dice
  • Khanada
  • Lady Xanax
  • Lake Shore Driving
  • Land
  • Last Chance on the Stairway
  • Last Day on Earth
  • Last Man Standing
  • Last Night in the City
  • Late Bar
  • Leave a Light On
  • Like an Angel
  • Lonely in Your Nightmare
  • Love Voodoo
  • The Man Who Stole a Leopard
  • Mars Meets Venue
  • Mediterranea
  • Meet el Presidente
  • Michael You’ve Got a Lot to Answer For
  • My Antarctica
  • My Own Way
  • Networker Nation
  • New Moon on Monday
  • New Religion
  • Nice
  • Night Boat
  • Night Runner
  • None of the Above
  • Northern Lights
  • Notorious
  • Of Crime and Passion
  • One of Those Days
  • Only in Dreams
  • Ordinary World
  • Out of my Mind
  • Palomino
  • Paper Gods
  • Planet Earth
  • Planet Roaring
  • Point of No Return
  • Pop Trash Movie
  • Pressure Off
  • Pretty Ones
  • Proposition
  • Read My Lips
  • Red Carpet Massacre
  • The Reflex
  • Rio
  • Runway Runaway
  • Safe
  • Salt in the Rainbow
  • Save a Prayer
  • The Seventh Stranger
  • Shadows on Your Side
  • Secret Oktober
  • Serious
  • She’s Too Much
  • Sinner or Saint
  • Sin of the City
  • Skin Divers
  • Skin Trade
  • Someone Else Not Me
  • Sound of Thunder
  • Starting to Remember
  • Still Breathing
  • The Sun Doesn’t Shine Forever
  • Sunrise
  • Sunset Garage
  • Taste the Summer
  • Tel Aviv
  • Tempted
  • Tiger Tiger
  • Too Bad You’re So Beautiful
  • Too Late Marlene
  • Too Much Information
  • To the Shore
  • Tricked Out
  • UMF
  • Union of the Snake
  • The Universe Alone
  • Valentine Stones
  • The Valley
  • Vertigo
  • Violence of Summer
  • Virus
  • We Need You
  • What Are the Chances
  • What Happens Tomorrow
  • Wild Boys
  • Winter Marches On
  • Yo Bad Azizi
  • You Kill Me with Silence