Tag Archives: Duran Duran fandom

We Unravel Towards the Place Where All Loose Ends Go

“…and we unravel towards the place where all loose ends go.”

I love that line in Before The Rain.  That song, off of AYNIN, was one of the few songs that I didn’t immediately love.  It was a song that grew very strongly on me over time,  andI know it’s one of the songs that I will probably always hold dear from that album.  That particular line though, stuck with me from the very first listen. There’s just something about the whole “loose ends” sentiment, for some reason it strikes a chord.

I want to thank everyone for their kind words and encouragement towards our new site.  I do like the way it’s evolving, and I think that as Amanda and I grow more used to the inner workings here, we’ll become more comfortable.  What feels like a trial right now to us, because we’ve needed to change some of our processes in order to utilize all that WordPress has to offer, will become second nature once again.  I welcome that.

Personally, I feel like this is the beginning of a new era for Daily Duranie. It’s the logical “next step”, so to speak.  The timing is especially good because we had the old website set up (for the most part, although we did go through significant layout changes there once or twice.) during AYNIN, and now that a new album will be making it’s way,  we’re ready for something new.

As we get used to this site though, I’ve been dealing with some loose ends on the old site. Saying goodbye, I suppose. I posted a message giving the new address, and in a couple of days, I’ll simply redirect the site to this one, and lastly – probably next weekend, I’ll delete our blog from Blogger.  It is bittersweet in many respects, but on the same token I’m excited for what may lie ahead.

Right now, we have quite a few “loose ends” to get knotted before we can really move forward with firm plans for what comes next.  I have the book proposals to work on. Amanda will be editing more chapters from the book and putting together our bibliography. (which is far more work than I would have ever considered!!!)We are still working on getting the highlight video from the last convention edited (no, we haven’t forgotten and we’re working to get that accomplished as quickly as possible, but we’ve run into several snags along the way), we have many more questions than answers regarding the possibility for a next convention…and in the next several weeks we’ll be addressing all of those loose ends, tying and finishing them off.

In the meantime, I bask in the joy of finishing a major loose end – this website!

-R

Please, Please Tell Me Now…What Duranies Want in a Convention!

If you have been paying attention to my posts the last few weekends, you know that I have been focusing on conventions, including why fans attend, why should celebrities attend, what kind of activities are found there and more.  Based on those discussions and based on my research, I am starting to wonder what Duranies really want in a convention.  I have described what normally takes place in a convention, including activities like vendor fairs, screenings, panels, games, and more.  The post which describes all of this can be found here.  I also know what took place during Durandemonium 2013.  For those who were not in attendance, the activities we had during the convention included get-to-know-you as Duranies games, an author’s panel, a screening of A Diamond in the Mind, games, banquet with dinner and dancing, and late night clubbing at Late Bar’s New Wave night.  Were those the right kind of activities to have?  Should other activities be part of a Duran convention?

When we designed Durandemonium 2013, we had ideas of what had liked in the past at other meet ups and at the first convention we attended in 2004 in New Orleans.  We liked having the chance to party with fellow Duranies whether at a bar or a club.  For us, that party culture is a big culture of Duran Duran culture.  After all, Simon does say that Duran Duran is the band designed to make you party.  Yet, I’m well aware that there are Duranies who don’t party as much as say…we might when we are together.  (This is probably a good reason why Rhonda and I should live far away from each other!)  Thus, for those fans, maybe partying at a club or bar wouldn’t be that important to them.  A lot of Duranies are collectors and spend a lot of time and money shopping on ebay or trading with other fans.  We didn’t do much with that due to space restrictions.  Perhaps, that is something a lot of people really would like.  We did have a raffle with lots of great items to give away.  Is that enough or would people prefer a place to just buy without having to worry about winning?  Maybe an auction would have been a better route to go with those cool items.  It seemed to me that most of the attendees at Durandemonium liked the screening of ADITM.  I know that we loved it.  Is that something that should always be included?  If so, do people have preferences about what should be shown?

While we did have an author’s panel, we didn’t do much with attempting to get celebrities there for obvious reasons.  This doesn’t mean, though, that it isn’t important to some fans.  We are aware that it does matter to people.  The question is how much does it matter?  Would you only attend a convention if one or more band members was there?  Would you want a convention with, at least, celebrities connected to Duran in some way?  Would you want a focus that is broader than Duran Duran?  Maybe, you would be able to justify spending the money to go if it was focused on a few of your favorite bands.  Then, of course, more to the point, how much would you be willing to spend to attend a convention with a celebrity or two?  We know how much concert tickets are.   Would you be willing to pay the same as a VIP ticket?  More?  How much more?  Then again, maybe, there are some fans who welcome the idea of getting together with other fans without the band being around.

I’m aware that I am asking for people’s ideal convention.  Obviously, as someone who has organized a convention and planning another one in the future, I am MORE than well-aware that everything that people want cannot happen.  Convention planners, like us, have an extremely limited budget (as in nothing, zero, zip, nada) and that other elements can limit what is possible.  For example, at the last convention, we didn’t have a lot of space to do things like a vendor fair.  That said, I’m truly curious what Duranies really would want in a convention.  What would make you spend the money and take the time to go to a convention?  How much would you be willing to spend and would you be willing to travel for it?

-A

Getting in John’s Musical Head. It’s Not Really That Scary.

Sometimes I just have to wonder.

Like many of you, I saw the tweets for John Taylor’s 2013 year end mixtape: the music that got him through the year, kept him inspired…and whatnot.  I sped through it the first time I listened, primarily because I didn’t have time to sit and listen to the entire thing. I will admit, his choices didn’t necessarily bowl me over, but I didn’t really expect otherwise.  He and I are very different in our musical tastes (oddly, given he’s in the band I’ve loved since childhood…), but on the same token – it’s how we learn, isn’t it?  We try new things. We keep introducing new things to our palette. What you might not like the first time may grow on you.  At least, that’s what I tell my kids as I’m serving them another helping of brussels sprouts. So I’m listening…really listening…again today.

I joked with a few friends on Twitter several days ago, when we saw yet another tweet suggesting the mixtape – I couldn’t remember the last time something had been tweeted about so often by the band, and I didn’t understand why this was such a big deal. I’d mused that maybe very few people had listened, but I didn’t check at the time, and quickly forgot about it until this morning.

So when I clicked on the link this morning and found that just over 5,000 people had listened – I was a little surprised.  On Facebook alone, Duran has over two million “likes”, and yet only just over 5,000 care enough to click? Why is that? People, including myself, cry out regularly that the band doesn’t seem to be very active on social media these days. We’re dying for some interaction. Yet, we don’t even bother to check out the mixtape when given multiple opportunities?

I can’t speak for everyone else, but I can certainly tell you why I felt like the mixtape wouldn’t hold my attention for long, aside from my kids and a husband distracting me, of course.  When I glanced down the list of artists, there were very, very few that I recognized, much less knew I would enjoy. It is in these moments when I start questioning the loss of my youth. Have I really become THAT set in my ways?  Am I really THAT unyielding?  I love many different types of music, so why not give John’s setlist a chance? I may be going over that hill, but I’m doing it while kicking and screaming.

So I am.  And I’ve got to say, I really like Ghost Loft.  (which tells you about how far in I am right now – not far, but I’ve got all day.) I probably won’t come out of the mixtape a Kanye fan (Not a single chance in hell), but I might find something new that I hadn’t heard of before, and that isn’t a bad thing at all.  Besides, I’m in John Taylor’s musical head.  How bad can that really be?

-R

In This Screenlit Room

I have very exciting news to share. Amanda and I have spoken at length about moving this blog to a “real website” for months. (Ok, so it’s really been years – but if the band can get away with “Durantime”, why can’t we???) I’ve tried several times to get into the mindset of “Website Developer”, and each time I would eventually give up, promising to come back to it at some point.

Since the very first days of this blog, we’ve gotten complaints from time to time about comments being “eaten”. I know what they mean – I’ve written more than one comment here that has been taken to the “Great Beyond”. Not only that, we wanted to be able to incorporate everything, the blog, our book progress, future news for meet-ups, gatherings and conventions, photos galleries, and whatever else we decide to talk about, in one place. So, there was more than enough reason to persevere and figure it out.

I’m happy to say that after a month of work, the new Daily Duranie site is nearly done!

The website itself is fairly simple, and is a huge improvement from the current format. I don’t want to give away all of the details, but we have a way to show off the posts we think deserve to be highlighted, yet it’s easy to see what we’ve been working on most recently. We also have pages for news on our book, a way to see photos from our past meet-ups and convention, and room for all kinds of things to come: such as future meet-ups and Daily Duranie road trip info (should the band ever tour again!), and whatever else happens to comes up.

As a helpful guide, I’ve come up with an FAQ of what to expect!

So when will this big change take place?:  We are glad you asked!  After conferring, Amanda and I have agreed to switch the blog on Sunday, January 19th. Now, since a good portion of our readers come from outside the US, we should probably make the caveat that we will be working on West Coast US time – that means GMT-8. For a significant portion of the day for the rest of the world, it is very likely you will still see this website. The plan is to make this a seamless switch, but there is certainly the possibility that at least for a portion of the day, www.dailyduranie.com will not work. Understand that we will be undergoing final “construction” at that time, and I will already be aware of what is or is not working. When the website is ready, it will come up as intended. Daily Duranie has never in it’s history actually “been down for maintenance”…so this is a first! We appreciate your patience, understanding, and support.

Our Email and RSS Feed subscribers: What our readers should be aware of is that as of Sunday, January 19th – if you are currently signed up to receive our blog by email or RSS Feed, you will likely no longer receive it until you’ve signed up on the new website. (If this changes, I will let you know – but for the time being, I believe you’ll need to sign up again) We apologize for that inconvenience, but there’s really no way it can be helped. The RSS Feed for the blog is something that I am still addressing, and once it’s ready, you’ll be able to use that as well if you wish to keep up with the blog that way. Also, for our readers who may not wish to share their email address with Amanda and I – you should know that while we’re able to see how many subscribers we have to the blog, we really do not have access to your email address, nor do we send out “junk mail”.  There is a form up on the blog that says “Follow by email”. You simply put your address into that window and you’ll be ready to go.

I’m already on WordPress, can I just use that account to follow?:The good news is that if you’re already signed up on WordPress, it’s very simple to follow the blog – there’s a button up on the blog for that. I’m still working on making sure the RSS Feed functionality is ready, but it should be all set up by Sunday.

What about mobile users, will the blog be able to be seen on mobile devices? I am  working on getting the mobile version of the site more readable. Right now it’s able to be seen but the formatting is downright strange. Unfortunately, that appears to be a common problem for users of this template, but I am aware of the issue and am working on it.

Will I still be able to see all of the old blogs and comments?: Yes!!! All of the blogs and comments that are kept here in archive on this blog have been moved. One small issue is that since we’ve already moved all of the archives and comments to the blog – any comments that are made on THIS blog as of last Friday (January 10) will not be immediately moved to the new site. I will be working on manually copying/saving to the new blog as time permits.

Will your email still work?: YES! Our email address will not change throughout the process and will continue to function as normal.

What is the new web address for the site?  Will that change?: Right now, the site is  “hidden”, and on Sunday, we plan to switch www.dailyduranie.com to see that website instead of this one on Blogger. For our readers, nothing should change other than what you see. Your links to our website should still work. That takes a little configuration on our end. While the plan is to do this switch seamlessly, on that day, there remains the possibility that the www.dailyduranie.com address will still point you here, or in the worst case scenario it may not work at all because it will be down for maintenance while the switch is occurring. When the site is ready, it will come up as normal, and with any luck, the site won’t be down for any length of time at all.

If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to post them here as a comment, contact us on Facebook or even on Twitter!

-R

You Understand I Been Waiting Forever

I have never participated in a “meet and greet”. Over the weekend, Amanda posed the question of why meet and greets would be beneficial to the band – and she received answers, mostly ranging from how wonderful of an experience it was for the fan participants to suggestions that the band would miss out on hearing how much their music has affected others. I had difficulty answering the question myself, because I really don’t know what a meet and greet is really like as a fan, much less what it might do for the band.

What I can say as an interested bystander is this: the quality of the experience is entirely dependent upon the situation. I’ve heard of the dank, dark, super fast “hi and a quick photo” hallway meets…I’m not even sure we properly add the word “greet” in there. I’ve read of the times where only a couple of the band members could make to the meet and greet in the hallway, and truth be told: I have difficulty seeing how any of that could possibly be beneficial to anyone, least of all the band.

In all fairness to the band, when you are forced to come out of hiding night after night, put on a smile in the most unnatural of situations, say hello and then (on many occasions) be felt-up by overenthusiastic fans that have forgotten their manners while having their 30 seconds in front of the band they’ve loved since their teen years – I can’t say that would be beneficial. In my opinion, it’d have the opposite effect. I’d want barriers put up around fans, and while I’d love for them to buy my album and come to my show – I’d also like them to be kept a good 25 feet from me at all times.

On the other hand, when you finally win that chance at a meet and greet, and you sit at home thinking about all of the things you want to say after all of these years – when the time finally comes for you to be in front of any one of them, much less all five of them, and you’re led down a dimly like back hallway and told, “We don’t have time for anything but a photo and it has to be a group one, please don’t try to talk to the band – they don’t have time”, that’s hardly worth the effort to buy the damn tickets to begin with, and those same fans have absolutely no trouble going online and sharing that delightful episode with everyone who’ll read/listen/reply. I can’t really blame them, either.

I have had real trouble underlining benefits to the band myself – because when I consider what the meet and greets have consisted of in the past, I see almost no benefit. From the lack of response we received (truly – for all of the people who have ever done an M&G, very VERY few were able or willing to say much about it), I suspect similar feelings hold true for others. However, if I were to pose the same question to those who attended the VIP party prior to the MoMA screening – I would bet that more than a few could give solid reasons why those types of events work – and not just work for fans, but for the band as well.

Perhaps that alone is food for thought.

-R

Loud is the music, the crowd is ringing

So, those that are on Twitter…or even Facebook to some extent, know that John, Simon and Dom made good on their agreement to play a gig for an AmFAR charity auction winner yesterday evening. Dom tweeted a picture from Courcheval, France this morning, taken from his hotel room. It had a beautiful view of snow-covered mountains behind the hotel.  He said something about wishing he could ski. I shudder to think. As I tweeted back in response, Rhonda does not ski. No, no. The idea of careening down the side of a mountain with essentially no brakes aside from the techniques you learn on a pair of skis…well…there’s a reason that my family calls me ‘grace’.  Need I say more?

As for the gig itself, I saw one photo that I really can’t post here because I don’t know the owner…but John, Simon & Dom were all wearing black tie & tuxes, and to this starved Duranie, they were a sight to behold. It has been a very long 17 months since I last saw the band live, to be sure. It’s never good when you’re contemplating in your head just how much money it would take to pay the band to come play a private party, and just how many of my Duranie friends would be willing to help me pay for such a deal. Can we set up crowdfunding for that??  Ha!

In the meantime…for those of you lucky enough to live in England and are close enough to London, you can go see Dom Brown’s band, Blue to Brown, perform on January 17th at The Armoury…it’s FREE, and apparently since Duran Duran won’t be touring for quite some time, Dom’s band has a standing once-a-month gig happening at this pub. Come on now, you can’t really beat that unless of course it was in my backyard here in Sunny California! If you can’t go for yourself, go for me, take video and post it!  Either that, or I need to set up some sort of Crowdfunding deal so that I can fly over to England and see a gig for myself.  It’s research for the blog, right?!?  Probably not, but one can dream.

I keep waiting for a photo to show up of the AmFar gig they played yesterday that I can post…if you’ve got one, send it our way and I’ll put it up here!

-R

I don’t know where I’ve come from, where I’m going to…

There are moments during the course of a day where I’m so consumed by the mechanics of getting through the day – going through the motions, if you will – that I forget why we started the blog, or for that matter, why I insist on continuing (even through what I feel has become the “Sahara Desert” of waits from one album to the next). In the past couple of weeks though, I’ve had two completely separate things happen to remind me exactly why Daily Duranie exists.

I don’t believe it’s any secret that Amanda and I are good friends. To be honest, I don’t think the blog could be what it is if it weren’t for that friendship. We usually work well together. That said, there have been moments when we haven’t seen eye to eye, and those are times, however few they might be, that really end up strengthening our friendship. Last week, we had one of those times, but in this case – I think it was probably a really big moment. A turning point, actually. It’s important to remember that Amanda and I are but two people (no, we really are not the same person – there are truly two of us who write blogs!), and we live a couple thousand miles apart, no less. Amanda has certain goals for herself, ideas for her career going forward, and I have some of my own. Without getting into a ton of detail, the time came for us to really talk about our plans going forward, and discuss what each of us wish to accomplish. During this series of emails, it was very clear that each of us had a very different idea of how it all would work, and what role each of us would be willing and able to play. In this case, it was really me letting Amanda down, which I realized was going to be a big problem, and for a bit, I was very concerned that our friendship was in jeopardy. Luckily for me, Amanda was willing to pick up the phone and make the phone call that I was not – and we talked it out. While our positions and goals did not change, we were able to come to some sort of agreement on how we could move forward.

Yesterday, I spent much of my day getting my son back into the old grind. We had a parent/student/teacher meeting in the morning that ran long, and after we had errands to run before getting my youngest from school. By the time I was able to sit down to take a look at Twitter, it was already evening here on the west coast. I saw that a friend had tweeted something that caused me concern. Not thinking twice, I immediately messaged this friend, offering my love and support – because when it comes down to it, that’s all that really matters in this world. The funny thing, is over the past few weeks, there had been more than a few things that had been tweeted, dissected, discussed and retweeted back and forth between the two of us and a small group of our friends, and we never quite saw eye to eye. Even so, when I sensed her distress in her tweets, the very last thing I considered were the discussions where we didn’t agree – all I could think of was making sure she knew that I was there when and if she needed.

Every single time I’m asked about this blog and why we do it, I wish that I could properly describe THESE moments in words, because when it comes down to it – I don’t write this blog because I love Duran Duran. That might have been what started this journey, but the reason I keep going is because of the friendships I’ve made along the way. I feel far more accountable to Amanda, my friends, and the people who read this blog every day than I do Duran Duran, yet I can assure you that we still support the band. Maybe that is what makes this blog different and gives it personality, and maybe it’s also the reason I continue to cross the Sahara desert in search of another oasis!

-R

Give Me the Freeze

I live in Wisconsin.  In general, people in Wisconsin today are focused on two things.  First, it is still football season and the majority of the people of Wisconsin will be tuning in this afternoon to the Green Bay Packers playoff game.  (Yes, if you notice, I point out “majority” because I’m in the minority and am not a Packers fan.)  The Packers are a big deal here and fans are everywhere.  The other thing that people here are thinking about is the “polar vortex” that the meteorologists are calling the impending cold front.  Yesterday, temperatures were around 30 degree F.  Right now, they are around 5 degrees.  More significantly than that, as the temperatures continue to drop to an expected -23, the wind is picking up.  Thus, we are under a wind chill warning starting at 6 pm for wind chills of between -40 and -55.  At that temperature, frostbite can happen between 5 to 10 minutes.  Yet, I’m sure that this will not deter Packers fans from descending on Green Bay to watch the game in person.  In fact, I’m sure that people will show their Packer fandom proudly.  For example, I saw this picture being shared and liked on Facebook this weekend.

1484720_10152130606530792_1284865246_n

What does this picture say about fandom?  Simple.  It shows that football fans are expected to demonstrate their fandom, right?  This woman should not only wear Green Bay colors but should be willing to go nearly naked to show her dedication.  She should ignore the fact that she could get frostbite or risk death all in the name of fandom.  The fact that I saw people liking this and sharing it says that people are cheering this.  I didn’t see one comment that said something like what I thought when I saw it, which was, “Oh my goodness, this would be the stupidest thing to do.  That isn’t cool.  It is just dumb.”  Yet, I guarantee that there will be some “fool” nearly naked at the game today who will get his/her 30 seconds on TV as I have seen in on plenty of other games.  I have never heard one comment about how crazy that is or how stupid a move that is.  Never.

I wish I could say the same about the reaction I get when I tell people that I’m flying somewhere to see a few Duran shows.  People will tell me all the time about how crazy that is and that I’m taking my fandom too far.  At least, my expression of fandom is not putting my life and body at risk like this picture shows.  So, why is the football fan acceptable but I’m not?  It seems obvious to me that sports fandom is truly accepted and other fandoms are not.  I was at the store yesterday like everyone else in the dang city and the majority of people were buying beer for the game.  People were open and excited about watching the game.  Would Duran fans or other music fans say the same?  Would we be as open if there was a concert on TV?  Is this acceptance of sports fandom because sports is just a large part of American and Wisconsin culture?  What is the tie to sexism?  That picture doesn’t show a nearly naked man, after all, does it?  Most men like sports.  Is that why sports fandom is acceptable?  Why are some extreme behaviors in some fandoms acceptable and others not?

-A

It’s Loaded with Fame: Conventions and Celebrities

People go to conventions to connect with other fans, to participate in activities not readily available in daily lives and to escape reality.  Another very significant reason that people go to conventions is for the celebrities.  Many conventions, most conventions, have celebrity or “special” guests.  Some conventions might have just one or two special guests and others have many.  Typically, these celebrities interact with the fans in a variety of ways, including participating in panels or question and answer sessions in which fans can ask questions, holding autographs sessions in which fans can get an autograph and/or holding a photo opps session in which fans can get pictures with the celebrity(s) of choice.

In my experience, people do seem to like going to conventions to meet and see celebrities.  At the Wizard World convention I went to in Chicago, in August, a lot of people I talk with came to meet one or two of the celebrity guests.  Some people came back year after year to see the same celebrity.  Sometimes, the bigger name celebrities had very long lines to get autographs and pictures.  The lesser known celebrities still had people who were interested in getting pictures or even just an opportunity to exchange a few words.  Yet, it did seem that anyone interested in a particular celebrity could get to that celebrity eventually, especially if the fan had the time and the money for one of these extras.  Of course, many of these celebrity focused activities have specific times.  For example, if you wanted a picture of person X, you had to get it done between 1 and 2 pm.  Thus, people scheduled their convention activities even around the celebrities.

I wonder how important these celebrity appearances are to the fans attending a convention.  Do they get people in the door?  Do they get people to pay the money for a ticket?  Would people go if there is just one celebrity or one celebrity who people really cared about?  Is it the fact that there might be many celebrities at a convention that you like?  Does it matter which type of fan activity is possible–meaning that getting an autograph might be more important to some than a question and answer session or vice versa?  In many cases, autographs and photos are extras.  They do not come with the ticket.  You pay for each autograph and each picture.  In some cases, you might pay to attend a panel.  Would those additional costs matter?  Would it matter how MUCH those extras were?

Seriously, I would love to know.  Would you be more likely to go to a convention if there was a celebrity you liked?  What about many celebrities?  Would you want panels/Q&A sessions, autograph sessions and/or photo sessions with the celebrities?  Would you be willing to pay extra for those sessions?  How much for a celebrity you love, love, love (like a member of Duran Duran!)?  How much for a celebrity you like a lot?  Would you go to a convention if there weren’t celebrities there?

-A

Union of the Snake – The Daily Duranie Review (R)

This being the first review of 2014, we have decided to mix it up a bit. Since we have fewer breaking stories from the band…*coughs*…we are going to break up our reviews into two parts. Each week you can look forward a review: one week will feature my review of a particular song, and the next will be Amanda’s review (of the same song). Additionally, instead of doing a separate category for production, we have incorporated production into the “Overall” section – found at the end of each review just before our final cocktail rating.

For the next two weeks, we are going to examine “Union of the Snake” off of, yes…Seven and the Ragged Tiger.  This was the lead single off of the album, released in October of 1983 and peaked at #3 on both the US and UK charts.  Rhonda will start off the review, followed by Amanda’s next week.

Musicality/Instrumentation:  The introduction to this song is intriguing to me, purely because of the dichotomy of Andy on guitar verses Nick on synthesizers. This is one song where there is a real “call and response” happening between the two – which I find plays into the theme of the song beautifully.  What I did not notice much of, though, is bass. There are moments when I can actually hear John’s bass, but it’s very faint (in my opinion). I think the sound would be better supported with a touch more of him in the mix, and it wouldn’t sound quite as top heavy. One element that I love in this song though, is Andy Hamilton on both soprano and tenor saxophone. He can be heard throughout the song, and rather than a guitar solo, we hear Andy Hamilton on soprano sax about 2/3 of the way through the song. The tenor sax is heard in several places and helps to provide some much needed depth and dimension to the overall sound. I also really appreciate the extra sounds – like the click/clack sounds of percussion that take place throughout – it’s an added element without being too intrusive and overwhelming. Speaking of percussions brings me to the drums.  Truthfully I would have not necessarily noticed Roger’s drums – they are there without being overly obtrusive.  However, I read that Roger took this beat from David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”, and now that I listen to the song – I very much hear that influence, which works well with the instrumentation.

Vocals: I really like Simon’s vocals on this song – what I don’t enjoy quite as much though is the very loud backup singers in the mix.  They seem to overpower Simon, and I don’t know that it adds as much as it detracts. I’ve always imagined Simon singing the entire song with a sneaky smile on his face – as it very much sounds that way when I listen. He sings the song with emotion, but not so much that it becomes comical.

Lyrics: Ok, who here can tell me what in the hell this song really means?? In doing my initial research for this song, I ran across several suggestions online ranging from “tantric sex” (apparently Simon offered this up as a reasoning behind the lyrics) to the borderline being the area between the conscious and subconscious minds. Again…this courtesy of Simon Le Bon, who just loves to toy with us all. Thanks, Simon. I must fall to my own reasoning, which sadly in this case, is very much lacking. I think that I always felt the Union of the Snake was the band, and the line “The union of the snake is on the climb. It’s gonna race, gonna break through the borderline” was about the band’s upward movement. World domination and all.  “If I listen close, I can hear them singers…”  “voices in your body coming through on the radio”…I don’t know why, but I always felt that was about the fans. That if he listens, he can hear us.  We’re loud, you know. I joke, but I find these lyrics in particular to be a good example of the prose-type lyrics that Simon was famous (infamous?) for writing during this era.

Overall: As I mentioned, we are incorporating production into the “overall” category – which really is meant to be a survey of how the different elements fit together.  With that in mind, this is one of the songs off of this album that I feel was produced rather well. The overall sound is not overwhelming, and I can hear most of the instrumentation pretty clearly.  However, I do find it odd that John was not worked into the mix better to add more of a “grounding” to the sound.  I still think the background singers are incredibly loud at times, and while I can understand the reasoning for having them there – I don’t think the intention was to overpower the lead singer. I like the call and response between synthesizers and guitar, and I feel like entire song is more of a “it’s us against the world” type of anthem, which plays out well through the instrumentation and lyrics.  Overall, I have to wonder if this was truly the best song on the album that could have been the lead single – it was done at the last minute, with mixing taking place up to the last minute before EMI took the tapes for pressing, although to be sure, the song does not sound as though it was rushed together – and perhaps in that regard, the song was well-executed.  The song was never on my list of favorites for the band, but I believe that since this song was the first released from this album, Duranies were starving for new music – and this song met the need.

Cocktail Rating:  3 Cocktails!

-R