Tag Archives: Duran Duran fandom

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

 

I Know I’m Going Nowhere

Am I the only one who laughed at Rhonda’s blog on Wednesday in which she discussed becoming a “top fan” of Duran Duran on Facebook?  I laughed hard while I read.  I cannot disagree with the sentiment that becoming a top fan does not really change anything or signal success.  Even though I know all that, I couldn’t help but to think, “That will never be me.”  Nope.  I’ll never get top fan status.  It used to be that this would bother me but I think I have accepted more of who I am and how I express my fandom.

So, I don’t really respond to Duran Duran on Facebook or Twitter.  I’m not totally sure why.  I could give a few possible reasons.  First, I have a job that does not really allow me to be on social media when I want to.  I cannot exactly tell my students to teach themselves while I check the latest.  Even when I have planning time (or time to prepare for class without students present), I don’t feel like I can just respond to social media much.  Take yesterday.  Rhonda and I exchanged tweets during my lunch.  This meant that I didn’t get an assignment graded like I had hoped.  I’m cool with responding to friends or family but to tweet  to or in response to my favorite band seems indulgent.  Besides, it isn’t like the work goes away if I don’t get it done during work hours.

Of course, that doesn’t totally explain it.  I could give the argument that I work a lot.  I do.  That is not a lie.  During campaign season, I work 70-80 hours a week.  Not kidding.  So I can certainly use that as a reason or excuse or whatever.  That isn’t the whole deal either, though.  A part of it goes beyond the lack of time or the strictness of my job.  No, it has everything to do with me.  I don’t respond to the band’s social media because it is easier for me that way.  What do I mean by that?  Simple.  I cannot get rejected and that matters more than the alternative.

Here’s a true story.  I have always been an outsider even with my Duranie status.  Some of you might be confused by that.  Even in 1984 when Duran was at the peak of their popularity in the US, it wasn’t cool to be a Duranie where I lived.  At that time, I lived on the south side of Chicago.  In 1984, Michael Jackson was king.  No one could compete against him in my neighborhood and in my school.  Yet, I dared to stick out that way.  Then, a couple of years later, I found myself in a different place and different neighborhood.  Did that help?  Nope.  People in my new hometown did not accept Duran either.  For my old town, it was that they weren’t as cool as Michael.  For my new one, they weren’t manly enough to be embraced.  Did I switch to become a fan of someone else?  Absolutely not.

Soon enough, though, I stopped trying to voice my opinion about music and bands.  I learned that all it would get me is dismissal at best and ridicule at worst.  Fast forward a couple of decades.  I assumed that life might be different.  I posted on message boards and started writing here.  Soon enough, I saw that I could not compete.  I wouldn’t respond in a way that was witty enough or smart enough or worse…I might come across as arrogant or a know-it-all.  None of this would get me accepted by other fans.  Even here, I have always known that I’m not as cool as Rhonda.  People have a harder time to relate to me.  I’m not married.  I don’t have kids.  My priorities are very different.  Outside of fandom, I’m a teacher and an activist and that feels right to me.

I could respond to the band’s social media but I figure that it would just leave me open to criticism or mockery.  I don’t need that in my life.  It would get in the way and make me feel crummy about myself like I couldn’t measure up.  Nope, it is easier and better to simply not play.  This allows me to save my self-esteem and to get my work done, work that matters a LOT.

In the past, I would feel badly about that.  Am I a big enough fan?  I would worry.  Should I be doing something else to prove it?  How will the band and their team know about me?  (How ridiculous that I even thought that.)  Now, I’m giving myself a break.  Yes, I know why I don’t respond.  I accept it but I also have to be okay with not being a well-known fan.  I know how much I love the band.  I don’t need to be out there on the band’s social media to prove it.  I accept my secondary fan status and that I won’t get some badge on social media.  I understand that there are not a lot of other fans who want to friend me or follow me since I don’t talk about the band much.  I am not cool and am okay with that.

-A

Top 40 Duran Duran Songs

About a month ago, I assigned some homework.  This assignment asked Duran Duran fans to give us a list of what they think are the 40 best Duran songs.  Thankfully, we got a number of responses.  Many felt that this assignment was a challenge, which I agree with!  It took me awhile to get it done, too!  I offered the opportunity to put the songs in order from best to least best and some took me up on that.  Many did not, claiming that it was too tough.  Therefore, I just simply recorded which songs were chosen rather than where in the list the songs were.  If people want to redo their lists in order, that’s cool.  I would be happy to compile the results once again.

Before I share the results, there are a few other comments I need to make.  Some fans chose to include which versions they liked best.  I totally admire that but since only a few did that, I opted to just put those under the album version of the song.  By the time I was done listing all of the songs mentioned, I had 147 different songs listed.  What this tells me is that Duran Duran’s catalog and quality of songs is huge!  It isn’t just that they have 5 or 10 songs that people think are awesome but literally hundreds.  That is impressive, in and of itself!  Now, on to the results:

Top 40 Duran Duran Songs:

  1.  I Don’t Want Your Love / The Universe Alone / What Happens Tomorrow / All She Wants Is / Tiger Tiger / Tel Aviv / Finest Hour / Someone Else Not Me / Vertigo

  2.  Night Boat / Union of the Snake / Winter Marches On / Last Chance on the Stairway / My Own Way / Anyone Out There / My Antarctica / Hungry Like the Wolf

  3.  Pressure Off / Late Bar / Girls on Film

  4.  Notorious / Sunrise / Lonely in Your Nightmare / Serious / Before the Rain / The Edge of America / The Man Who Stole a Leopard

  5.  Is There Something I Should Know / The Reflex / Wild Boys / All You Need Is Now / Hold Back the Rain / Ordinary World

  6.  A View to a Kill / Do You Believe in Shame / Out of my Mind / Friends of Mine / Save a Prayer / Sound of Thunder

  7.  Secret Oktober / The Seventh Stranger / Come Undone

  8.  Careless Memories / New Moon on Monday

  9.  Planet Earth / Rio / New Religion

  1.  The Chauffeur

Obviously, there were a number of ties in terms of how many times the songs were included in people’s lists.  I also noticed that a lot of the songs were singles and ones that are often played live.  Interestingly enough, the only album not represented in this list is Red Carpet Massacre.  Many people listed songs from that album but just not enough to be included in the top 40.

What do you all think of the list?  Anything surprise you?  Are there songs that you thought for sure would be there that weren’t or vice versa?  I enjoyed “grading” this homework even though it took me longer than I expected.  I have an idea for another Duranie homework assignment, if people are interested.  Just let me know!

-A

Happy Birthday Rhonda 2018!

This blog post is late, not in terms of time but date.  I could use the excuse that I don’t blog on Wednesday, when it was Rhonda’s actual birthday, but that isn’t the complete story.  I have been a little busy.  (I would call working 70-80 hours a week more than busy but alas…)  I could have probably done some sort of quick blog but I didn’t want to do that for Rhonda’s birthday.  Nope.  I wanted to make it something more meaningful or more fun or both.  Therefore, I needed time and energy.  Now that I’m starting to recover and feel more human, I can do a blog post worthy of a birthday blog for Rhonda!

In thinking about how I wanted to blog, I wanted it to be monumental because this week has felt pretty monumental.  So, I figured a good way to wish her a happy birthday is to acknowledge, to remember, to celebrate the top 12 monumental moments (in no particular order) that we have shared together.  Why 12?!  Well, if you add up Rhonda’s age…you might get 12, which is a lot more than if you added up my age.  Just pointing that out because I can.  😉

12.  Surviving Voodoo

Rhonda just recently wrote about the Voodoo Music Festival in New Orleans in October 2006.  The thing about that day is that I truly feel like we survived torture.  After all, we stood for hours in the same space without any food or water.  So, when Rhonda screamed at Simon that we had time for 50 more songs, the only thing I could do is laugh…at least until I had a few drinks (or ten).  Of course, that night represented the first time that signs we brought were successful such as the one below:

oops…wrong sign. Well, we held this one up too!

11.  Secret Oktober in Brighton

Sometimes, once in a blue moon, we are lucky.  In this case, we were beyond fortunate to have seen the band perform Secret Oktober live.  We saw the song in Brighton, England in November of 2011.  This show was always questionable.  We were not supposed to see the band there when we first bought tickets.  Unfortunately, Simon lost his voice and the first set of tickets we had were no longer used.  Thus, we decided to add the Brighton show after the Simon had recovered.  Then, we worried that the public union strike in London would affect our ability to get to this show.  Somehow, someway, it worked out.  We got our cherry on top, though, once this song was played.  I’ll never forget the moment when we realized what we were hearing and turned to each other to hug only to see Nick laughing at us behind his keyboards.

Before the show in Brighton!

10.  Walking through Birmingham

Speaking of the UK, we were lucky enough to go in 2011.  The first trip did not turn out as we expected since the four shows we had gone for had to be canceled.  At that news, we had some options.  Do we sit around and complain?  Do we ignore anything and everything Duran related or do we still experience our Duranie-ness.  Rhonda and I opted for that last option as we walked around Birmingham, gaining a brand new insight into the band we thought we knew.  It was not only eye-opening for us but certainly made Rhonda and I closer.  Later in the year, we finally got to see Duran play in their hometown, which was a dream come true!

Duran Duran in Birmingham - Tweet
Our infamous tweet before the show in Brum

9.  Singing Hungry Like the Wolf at Howl at the Moon in New Orleans

Do you ever look back at life and are able to pinpoint a pivotal moment?  This moment might be such that it points you in a significantly different path than you might have been on otherwise.  I strongly recall sitting at the Howl at the Moon in New Orleans with drinks in hand right by Rhonda at the 2004 Friends of Mine convention.  I didn’t know her super well at that point but I remember singing along to HLTW with her and thinking we could be friends.  I wasn’t wrong.

8.  Laughing during Tempo Cafe in Chicago

If Howl at the Moon made me think that Rhonda and I could be friends, laughing hysterically with her at Tempo Cafe in Chicago at like 4 in the morning told me that I had found my touring buddy for life.  This was for our first tour together, the spring Astronaut Tour in 2005.  We realized that weekend that we could easily travel or go to shows together.  The rest of the world, however, probably wish that we didn’t.  I think the people with us probably wished that we didn’t get along so well when we couldn’t stop laughing, annoying them to death, I’m sure.  I know that for me, this matters.  I like being with people who make me laugh!

Image result for tempo cafe chicago

7.  Running away during Durandemonium

In 2013, Rhonda and I decided to do something pretty crazy.  We chose to organize a convention, Durandemonium.  It took place in Chicago and by anyone’s standards it was successful.  That said, it was a lot of work, a lot of stress so when we had an opportunity to relax a little, we did.  After the Saturday night fun, dancing away at Late Bar, our favorite 80s club there, we sought quiet at a very late dinner or very early breakfast.  I will never forget the pivot we took away from the doors of the hotel to walk at a brisk pace down the street.

Amanda and Rhonda hit Club Neo the night before Durandemonium

6.  Finishing two manuscripts

Some of our monumental moments are ones that no one was around for besides us.  A good example of this is when we finished a manuscript or two.  No matter what has happened with those drafts, I’m super proud to have written them.  I still believe that we have something to say that would interest people.  Someday, I hope we get back to writing like that.  While it isn’t easy, I think it would be worth it.  I feel very fortunate that we have a friendship that we can  not only hang out and laugh together but can also work together, whether doing this blog, writing books or planning fan events.

5.  Making fun of Simon in a bunch of ways (but always with love)

Oh, how we love to give Simon a hard time!  It started as soon as the reunion took place as we enjoyed talking among our friends about some of Simon’s more interesting dance moves or his idea to crowd surf.  Then, we saw new and better moves in 2009, which you can see below.  By the time, Paper Gods rolled around, there was so many ways to tease, including trying to find bright colored but way too short pants or trying to paint shoes to match his lime green ones.  I cannot wait to see what we can do next!!

4.  Roadtrips

Over the years, Rhonda and I have spent a lot of time traveling, both together and apart.  Yet, my favorite way to travel with her is road tripping.  On top of being able to just sit and talk, it also allows us to come up with new ideas or to create some of the best setlists the band has never played!

3.  Hotels

Like transportation, we have stayed in a number of different hotels over the years.  Sometimes, those hotels become more than just a place to stay.  We have found ourselves kicked out of hotel bars as “there are sleeping rooms” nearby.  If that wasn’t enough, we have also answered the phone to hotel security.  Most significantly, hotels have also been the scene of moments with the members of Duran.  Maybe, it was taking pictures with John, Simon and Dom in Los Angeles in 2015, getting someone to wear one of our wristbands or toasting with Simon in Toronto.  Good times, indeed!

2.  Press conferences

Then, there are our videos that we lovingly refer to as press conferences in which we attempt (often badly) to capture a show or a tour.  They speak for themselves!

1.  The best is yet to come!

Over the years, we have learned a lot from Duran Duran.  One big concept is to look forwards and not backwards.  What does this mean?  It means that the best is yet to come!  I suspect that we will have some monumental moments in February!  So on this birthday, I celebrate our friendship and some of our best moments!  On that note, I wish my partner-in-crime an absolutely fabulous birthday!!!

-A

REPOST: Withdrawal Symptoms

I don’t know about the rest of you but it has been a WEEK.  A long, tough week.  (Yep, that’s a sentence fragment.  Nope, I don’t care.)  Believe it or not, it wasn’t really my job causing the stress and strain. Of course that doesn’t mean that I don’t have any work to do this weekend.  I cannot be that lucky.  I have a set of papers and tests to grade on top of some family responsibilities and campaign events, but work is not upsetting me.  While I would love to create an amazing new blog, my energy level won’t let that happen.  Thus, I checked to see what I had written before on this date when I ran across the following post.  I remember writing it and how it amused the heck out of me.  Guess what?  It still makes me laugh.  Hope it might bring a smile to your face, too!

WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS

I woke up this morning sick to my stomach.  The symptoms clearly said it was some sort of flu with nausea, stomach craps, alternating between chills and sweating and exhaustion.  Of course, I posted my illness on my personal facebook while I called the campaign I’m working for to tell them that I needed someone to cover me at today’s canvass.  The consensus on facebook was that I had been pushing myself too much and that a day off would do me good.  While it could be a virus or a virus that was able to hit due to working so much, I suspect that there might be something else going on.  I was able to put it together after receiving an email from Rhonda and seeing her facebook status.  She, too, has been battling illness this week and experienced insomnia last night.  My sleep has been awful lately as well.  Now, we don’t live near each other.  I’m in Wisconsin and she’s in California.  There is no way that we have the same virus or do we?!?Today is September 22nd.  Where were we one month ago?  We were in Portsmouth, Virginia, going to our final show of the All You Need is Now tour.  This was the last show for probably years and we both were well aware of that on that day.  Strangely enough, I also had a weird dream last night in my very restless sleep.  The location of this weird dream:  Portsmouth, Virginia.  When I woke up this morning, I thought it was a strange location to dream about since we weren’t there very long and it wasn’t the most memorable location or show of the tour.  Yet, my subconscious was thinking about it.  Clearly.  In this dream, I had to get to a show.  I was in a rush to get there but I kept running into roadblocks, both literally and figuratively.  Traffic was a nightmare in my dream as was road construction.  I only had a few hours to get there, to the show.  Rhonda, too, was struggling to get there.  I assumed that she wasn’t going to make it.  I found myself slowly accepting the fact that we weren’t going to make it on time for the show.  In fact, I decided I wasn’t even going to see Rhonda.  I tried to accept it.  At the last minute, Rhonda showed up in what I assumed was a hotel room.  The last thing I remember saying to her was, “We might make it but it isn’t going to be easy.”  When I woke up, I thought I was talking about making that show and maybe I was.  Now, though, I think it is bigger than that.

This dream connected with my symptoms, Rhonda’s symptoms and today’s date only means one thing.  We are experiencing withdrawal symptoms.  Yes, this means that we are addicted.  We are Duranaholics.  I am standing up as I type this and admitting it.  My name is Amanda and I’m a Duranaholic.  Clearly, now I know that this addiction isn’t just mental but physical as well.  Now that I have taken the first step and am not longer trying to deny this addiction, what do I do?  Do I try and break the addiction?  If so, this means I have to continue through this detox and, frankly, I have no choice as there is no time with the band in my future.  Although, I keep hoping, despite all evidence that it won’t happen, for at least, a tiny fix with a John Taylor signing in…say…Chicago.  Okay.  *deep breath*  So, I must continue through detox.  Then what?  Meetings?  Do they have to be in person meetings or can twitter and facebook be enough?  I know that there are many Duranies in the Madison area or within driving distance.  Should I organize DA (Duranaholics Anonymous) meetings?  What if I’m the only addict?  Yes, many people may be able to enjoy Duran in small quantities and might be able to really control their usage.  Do you think that they would be able to encourage my change in lifestyle or will they be enablers by showing Duran clips or playing Duran music?  Then, there is the issue of Rhonda.  Will she walk this path with me or will she continue to use?

Of course, I could just decide to keep using.  Maybe I can do enough Duran like to keep the mental and physical suffering away for the most part.  What should I do?  Which path should I choose?  How do I survive until the next fix?  How are the rest of you surviving without Duranlive?!

-A

P.S.  I do truly understand that real addiction is a disease that should be taken seriously.  I was only comparing fandom to real addictions for fun.  No offense was meant.  I promise.  🙂

Lessons Learned: 8 Years of (In)Sanity

Yesterday, this blog turned eight!  While some might not think that is a big deal but it is huge to Rhonda and myself.  When I think back to when we started this, I figured that we might write for a year, maybe two, if we were really committed.  Honestly, I believed that it would help us in our writing projects.  It might shed light on Duranies or even Duran Duran, I assumed.  While it has done that at times, to me, the lessons I have learned have been so much more and different than that.  So on this anniversary or birthday or whatever you want to call it, I want to share a few of those lessons.  They are in no particular order.

The Power of Commitment:

Sometimes, when Rhonda and I go on tour, we have uttered the phrase, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”  When we say that, it to remind ourselves that we shouldn’t necessarily party so hard in a few hour causing us to crash before the night has really even gotten started.  We don’t need to do everything in one night, if we have multiple shows.  I feel like I have learned that lesson in the rest of my life, too.

I have always known that there is power in commitment.  Experience matters.  When I first became a teacher, I watched veteran teachers to see how they dealt with every issue that teachers confront.  Looking back, I cannot believe how much I learned from that.  Now, I’m that veteran teacher.  My practice has improved over time, not just from watching those experienced staff members but also from doing it myself.  You know what else matters?  It is important to know that I’m in it for the long haul.  Teaching isn’t just a temporary gig.  I knew that I had to get better because it was going to be who and what I was for decades.

I could repeat a similar story for political organizing.  Initially, it was one campaign.  Soon enough, it became two then three.  Now, I get it.  It is part of my life and who I am.  I got better at it, too.  I had no choice.  I feel like the same is true for this blog.  In the beginning I didn’t think too much about how my blogs were.  Even once I realized that some people read them, I didn’t consciously think about how to improve my blogs.  Yet, I think it has happened through both doing it but also through commitment.  Because I know that this is part of my life, I want to be able to be proud of it.  Guess what?  I am proud.  Not only am I proud of the blogs themselves, I’m extremely proud of our commitment.  Both of us could have thrown in the towel a ton of times but we didn’t.  We stuck to it.  We stayed for the long haul.

Keeps Me Connected:

As I have said before, this hasn’t been the easiest year for me.  I won’t lie that there have been times that I thought maybe it was time for me to walk away from this.  It was never because I didn’t like it or my love for Duran has faded.  I just wondered if my attention shouldn’t be elsewhere.  Yet, I know how it would go.  At first, it might be fine.  I would focus on other things.  Over time, though, I would miss it.  Whenever I have suppressed one big aspect of my life, it always comes back to bite me.  I don’t like it.  I don’t want to have to choose between the different hats I wear.  I can be a fan and an activist.  I can be a blogger and educator.

What would I miss?  Not only would I miss the writing.  I would miss the connection.  This blog has connected us with other fans.  I have met so many people as a result of writing this blog, hosting meet-ups and organizing the convention in 2013.  I’m grateful for everyone I have met.  Not only have I learned from each and every person but many of you have brought fun and joy into my life.  You all have reminded me that fandom is about connection.  It starts out with a love of whatever.  In our case, it is the love of Duran Duran.  The fandom part comes when we reach out to each other.  This blog has made that a lot easier for me.  I cannot say that I’m great in meeting people.  Often, I think I give off the wrong vibes or something.  Yet, this blog and everything that has come as a result pushes me to be better, to be more approachable with other people.

Now, this blog keeps me connected not just to the fans I might meet, the ones that I have met, but also with Rhonda and Duran Duran.  This blog is not mine, not Rhonda’s but ours.  It is still that way.  It doesn’t matter how often we talk, this blog is our shared space.  It is a “place” that we both call home.  It is where we are open about our love for Duran and touring.  Beyond that, it is also where we have shared stories about fandom but also about our real lives.  I often joke that it has become our journals.  This blog lets us process through our ideas about fandom as well as general life stuff.  Not only does it let you all know what is going on with us, but often it lets me know what is going with her and vice versa.  It forces us to stay connected and I am grateful for that.  (I wonder if any band member has thought something similar about Duran Duran, that the band has kept the individual members connected.)

This little blog also keeps me thinking about Duran Duran.  When we first started, Duran Duran was at the top of my thoughts when writing this blog.  I couldn’t really imagine writing about my personal life or even subtle aspects of fandom.  No, I wanted to write about just Duran Duran, the band, the history, the music.  Now, it isn’t that they aren’t important as they are truly essential.  They are the reason we started and the reason we keep going.  However, they are much like the other commitments in my life.  Being a Duranie is who I am.  I have been that for so long and in this public way for 8 years now.  That part of my identity and the love that it stems from is so interwoven in my life that I don’t need to shout about it in the same way to prove that.  I know how much Duran matters to me.  It is like breathing.  I don’t need to think about it to love them.  I just do it.

Overall, this blog has changed me in ways that I couldn’t have imagined on September 13th, 2010, when we entered into this adventure.  I am thankful that we started this and thrilled that we keep going.  More importantly, I appreciate that Rhonda is still here on this journey with me and am forever grateful to people who have read the blog once as well as to those who read each and every day.  You all keep me going.  Thank you.

-A