Tag Archives: Duran Duran fans

Someday, We Won’t Have a Choice

So in the interest of full disclosure, I’m writing this on Sunday night as opposed to trying to squeeze in writing time in the morning between school drop-off, groceries, and laundry.

Just a couple of hours ago, news broke that Ric Ocasek of The Cars was found dead in his NYC penthouse. He was 75. Earlier this week, news hit that Eddie Money passed away from cancer. Both musicians were a near constant on the radio back in the day, although I will admit that The Cars were much more of a personal favorite for me.

I was sitting outside on my patio, relaxing when I saw the news on Twitter. It was shocking enough for me to do a double take, and even as I sit here typing, I really struggle to believe it is all true. For me, The Cars were a mainstay. I have all of their albums, and I really can’t think of MTV
without remembering “You Might Think”. Tears sprung to my eyes as I read the vague news story about his death, thinking to myself that I would never have the chance to see The Cars live again.

This is why you buy the concert tickets.

Those words slammed into my heart as I thought about an argument I’d had yesterday morning with my husband. I’ve been priming him for a possible UK trip next year. I haven’t been abroad since late 2011 when I traveled with Amanda to see Duran Duran in December of that year. The trip was fantastic, and I knew even then that it wouldn’t be the last time. That said, timing is of the essence. We can’t travel when Amanda is teaching, and it is much harder for me to get away when I’ve got a child in school, too. The summer months are the only way, and naturally – I have no way of knowing when or if the band will do another tour in the UK. I’m hopeful.

The more I talk about our hope of returning, the more Duranies seem to be on board with the idea. Granted, it all hinges on whether or not Duran Duran decides to grace it’s own country with shows to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the band with Simon as frontman. If they do, I think we have enough people wanting to go to seriously consider chartering our own plane. (not that we would…but we could!) Of course, this excites me even more, and I mentioned it yesterday morning.

The response was not positive. In addition to a litany of other things that are neither here nor there, blog-wise, he questioned why on earth I need to keep going. “Haven’t you seen enough??”

I couldn’t put it into words yesterday, but upon hearing the news of Ric Ocasek dying, I had no trouble. THIS is why.

Like many of you, Duran Duran saved me when I was in middle school. The band was the one thing that kept me going. I felt like such an outcast back then. You think I’m socially awkward now? Ha! I’m not being melodramatic – I’m being real. Adolescence was a tough time. I hated nearly every part of it, except for the moments when I would lazily thumb through a teen magazine in search of new Roger Taylor pinups or articles about the top ten things John misses most while on tour, or when I’d listen to “Is There Something I Should Know”, or even when I’d see the video for “Hungry Like the Wolf” on MTV. Their songs are my songs – they are the soundtrack to much of my life. This fan community is my family. I already miss many of you, and it’s barely been a week. Someday, perhaps even very soon – I’m not going to have the choice to buy the ticket, or take the trip. I’ll be completely done seeing the band, whether I like it or not. Until then, I’m in a race against time to squeeze in as many shows, and joy, as I can.

I dread the day when we won’t have a choice to attend or not. Earlier this year, my friend Alana passed away after a serious bout with cancer. Not too many days go by before I think about how she and I talked about meeting at the next show. You just never know when it’s going to be the last time.

Buy the concert ticket.

RIP Ric Ocasek. Thank you for being just enough weird balanced with just the right amount of rock star greatness to keep me interested!

-R

Expectations and Back-Up Plans

Learning to expect the unexpected. This is a lesson that, despite my decades of experience, remains a struggle.

I’m not great with surprises. Knowing what is going to happen, and having a backup plan in case all else fails, are ways that I try to mitigate disaster, even within my own family. Today is the first day of school for my youngest. She was super excited this morning, bounding from her room without a single ounce of prodding from me. (highly unusual!) As she prepared herself a water bottle for the day, I asked her if she wanted to pack a snack, “just in case”. She looked at me strangely, and asked what “just in case” meant.

I suggested the scenario that maybe she’d get up to the front of the line in the cafeteria and the ID number she painstakingly memorized yesterday didn’t work. What would she do? Would she be hungry if she didn’t pack a little something? She looked at me with all the deadpan seriousness she could muster and said, “I’d tell my mom to stop worrying about every possible thing that could go wrong.”

This worry has gone on all summer. On separate occasions, I’ve told her about my own junior high experiences (spoiler alert: they weren’t great). I mused out loud regarding the first bad grades I ever received. They were in math, from a male teacher. (This was mentioned well before I learned that she too, has a male math and science teacher this year.) We talked about being girls, about make-up, hair, fashion…. Well, actually she pretended to listen. She thinks I don’t notice when she starts to tune me out. I did. I droned on and on anyway…about subjects that, at her age, I didn’t care about either. Go figure.

She’s eleven. I’m not sure she’ll make it to twelve. Her carefree attitude about life, school and even friends both happily surprise, and frustrate me. Worrying is not her forte. Preparing for the unexpected isn’t really something she does naturally, even with my suggestions. The youngest prefers to handle things as they come, no extra anxiety or energies needed. She doesn’t seem to care if she fits in, or if she does well in school. It may be a long year.

Me, on the other hand—I like to be fully prepared. Perhaps even overly so. I like knowing exactly what is about to happen, and how it will all go down. My biggest issue with this band – yes, Duran Duran – is that I never know what the new music will sound like from one album to the next. Now, don’t get me wrong—I’m not losing sleep over it. If that were happening, I’d qualify for therapy. It’s nothing like that. I was just sitting here, scrolling though Twitter and Facebook, thinking about where I was four years ago. Paper Gods hadn’t yet come out, although I believe by now I had heard some of the new music. I can remember being very concerned. Overly so, even.

At the time, my biggest worry was the guitar. I suppose I was concerned that the album would be more along the lines of Red Carpet Massacre, with more of a muted guitar than the upfront sound I tend to prefer. The project seemed to take forever as a whole, and the closer it came to the release date, the more I questioned what was about to happen. Would the band be the same? Could this album really be as good as the one before?

Granted, I did some of this worrying online, and in public. After all – we were blogging back then – and anything we write, people see and read. It isn’t the same as just vocalizing an off-the-cuff comment to a friend when you blog and publish. Whatever bad mood, negativity, or even well-meaning concern written on any given day, is immediately out there, for all to see, for eternity. Even so, I think back on that time, and occasionally I wonder what in the heck I was so worried about. It all turned out fine.

Even if it hadn’t turned out “fine”, I would have survived. Sure, it’s just music…but it’s also just the way it goes with a band like Duran Duran, sometimes. In the past there have been albums that I haven’t exactly jived with. Shock from the use of a beatbox, lyrics that just didn’t feel like they stood up as in the past, a change in personnel, or even an abundance of production, didn’t drive me away. Going from a mainstream, “pop” record to something decidedly more funky didn’t kill me, or my fandom. Years in between albums didn’t make me forget them. I’ve wondered if they could do anything that would cross the line in the sand for me….and then I’ve daydreamed over where that line in the sand might actually sit, or if it even existed at all.

I suppose that for me, those boundaries are always being tested and moved. Maybe that’s the point. New music requires a little growth out of the listener. Sometimes, I just can’t prepare in advance. Letting myself experience ripping off the shrink wrap, reading the gatefold, and setting the needle in the grooves of the vinyl, all the while wondering what I might hear next, is an important part of the process. There’s no back-up plan for managing the emotion that is about to fill my senses—good, bad, or indifferent.

That truth is sometimes tough for someone like me. I love hearing the news of where they are in the album process. Knowing they’ve already got a single in mind is exciting! Reminding myself that they’re not creating another All You Need is Now, Paper Gods…or even Liberty, is an exercise in managing expectations. I have no idea what the next album may sound like, only that if I allow myself to have no expectations and listen with an open heart and mind, I will ultimately grow as a music aficionados.

-R

Join us Saturday for an Online #DDAD19 party!

Welcome to Thursday! Before we get too much farther into it, I apologize for not posting yesterday. It was school registration day for my youngest.

Yesterday was a big day. I had a nervous but very excited tween, and my attention for the better part of the morning needed to be with her. Next Wednesday is “back to school”. I think she’s excited and I’m still trying to understand how she could possibly be in 6th grade already.

By the time I got home, I had to get on a conference call, and then I had a meeting with Amanda about Duran Duran Appreciation Day plans that I’m about to share!

This year, celebrate Duran Duran Appreciation Day with Daily Duranie! We are hosting an online video party, complete with a “suggested” cocktail list!

Who: EVERYONE!

When: SATURDAY, AUGUST 10TH. 11 am West Coast US, 1PM Central, 2PM East Coast US….please do the math from there to calculate the proper time for your area of the world. 🙂 This is a “Drop In” party, meaning that if you can’t make it at 11am, drop in whenever you’re able! We have a video viewing schedule that we’ll adhere to (see notes below!)

Where: ONLINE! We will be live tweeting throughout the day on Twitter, using the hashtag #DDAD19.

For ease of viewing, we compiled the videos into a single playlist, and I’ll tweet that out on Saturday. All you’ll need to do is hit “play”, then sit back, squee like a Duranie – and tweet with us! For now, here’s the general idea of what we’re watching and drinking.

Viewing Schedule with Progressive Cocktail Menu

  • Kennedy Space Center show (“Something Alien’s Happening” Pimms No. 1 Cup)
  • Behind The Music (“White Light Shining Bright” Gin &Tonic)
  • Off the Record from 1981
  • DD Talk Paper Gods (“High waters and neon” Green Screwdrivers)
  • Hollywood Bowl 2015 (“We drank all of the vodka” Vodka & Tonic)
  • Sing Blue Silver (“That’s what the band wants” Blue vodka lemonade)
  • Reunion documentary (“Why don’t we have decent glasses?” red or white wine of your choice)
  • Live from London
  • Diamond in the Mind (“If you made it this far, you’re probably drunk” Tequila shots to finish you off.)

No really, if you tried the entire menu, you’re done now. Go to bed and sleep it off. Trust us.

Cocktail Recipes and shopping list

Pimms No. 1 Cup

One part Pimms No. 1 base mix* (this is made with gin)

Two parts “fizzy lemonade”, or ginger-ale

Pour over ice in a tall highball glass. Garnish ideas: cucumber, mint, orange and/or lemon slices – whatever fruit you prefer.

*Simon’s recipe is to pour a “decent” measure of Pimms and top with ginger ale…. I’ll just remind everyone that the art of progressive drinking is a MARATHON, not a sprint.

Gin and Tonic

Does this really need a recipe? Just in case….

One part gin* of your choice, to two parts tonic in a glass over ice. Garnish with either lemon or lime, depending upon taste.

*Remember, it’s a marathon. 😀

Green Screwdrivers (there is a reason we went with a drink that is green in color for the corresponding videos. Maybe some of you will remember…) This drink has real measurements. A shot glass can be anywhere from 1.5-2 oz (or even more I guess. Good luck!!)

4 oz orange juice

1 oz vodka

1 oz Blue Curacao

2 oz lemon-lime soda

Pour over ice in a tall glass. Garnish with a cherry, sit back and enjoy!

Blue Vodka Lemonade

The name sounds more complicated than it is, I promise!! (although by now – you may have difficulty measuring. Best. Of. Luck.)

One part vodka

One part blue curaçao

Two parts lemonade

Pour in a glass over ice. Garnish with a lovely maraschino cherry!

Vodka & Tonic

By now, maybe you’re cursing at Amanda and I, and perhaps we even deserve it. We’ve chosen to make it easy on everyone, and just throw in our own personal favorite!

One part vodka

Two parts tonic

Pour over ice. Garnish with lemon or lime. (we usually go with lime)

Simple. If you’re calorie conscious, you could always substitute club soda for the tonic. At this point though, who cares?!?

Wine

This should be self-explanatory. I’ll just say here that mixing alcohol can be regretful and leave it at that.

Open bottle of red or white wine – your choice.

Pour in glass.

Done. Could it really be any easier?!?

Last but not least….

Tequila Shots

We can’t imagine anyone making it this far….but if you did, pour yourself a shot of decent tequila, get yourself some salt and a lime. Steady yourself, and see ya on the other side!

Shopping list!

  • Bottle of Pimms No. 1 Cup
  • Gin of your choice
  • Vodka of your choice
  • Blue Curacao liqueur
  • tonic
  • orange juice
  • lemonade
  • ginger-ale
  • lemon-lime soda (like sprite)
  • lemon
  • lime
  • fresh mint
  • cucumber
  • orange
  • maraschino cherries

We hope to see tweets from many of you on Saturday! Rock your fave DD t-shirt, listen to all of the music with abandon, and celebrate the sheer pleasure of Duran Duran’s music for the last FORTY YEARS. Even during these turbulent, screwed up times -we can take a day, or even just a few hours, to marvel in the music that as accompanied us along our way. Happy Duran Duran Appreciation Day!!

-R

You Can Make Your Rhymes and Paint Your Rules

It’s hard to feel like blogging today. I tried staying off of social media over the weekend. This morning it is definitely no better. Reading the same thing 50,000 times does little to heal, nor does it seem productive if you’re really wanting to change things. I would rather spend the time with people I care about, can see, speak with, and respond to in person. So that’s what I’ve been doing, and it is what I intend to continue – a lot less social media, and a lot more “in person”.

At one time, I was a huge proponent of social media. Direct-to-fan marketing? YES! Fan-empowerment? 100% on board. I believed that social media was the way to bond with fans, and a great tool for marketing and promotion. I loved it all. What changed?

Thought that I was in control

I was just sitting here mulling over my social media trajectory as I considered what I’d write this morning. The idea that we could connect with others from all across the globe, using this wonderful conduit, sparked something in me. Virtually “meeting” people that I would have likely never had the opportunity to talk with otherwise, made the Duranie world feel so much more tactile and real. Message boards and social media made fandom fun. I wanted more.

I don’t think things can stay like that forever. For example, writing this blog now isn’t nearly the “wide-eyed and bushy-tailed” experience it was when we started, and that’s okay with me. I can only control what I write – not how readers respond to my words. Social media is the same. What was once pure fun for me, has turned into something quite different. I am still able to see the joy when I see posts from friends and they’re speaking about things in their personal lives or sharing pictures and things. Every once in a while a blog resonates with someone, or a complete stranger finds the website and feels compelled to connect with Amanda and I to say thank you or to excitedly share their feelings. Those moments are still golden and I appreciate them greatly.

On the other hand though, social media is a minefield. Sometimes I have to wonder if it’s just me or if others feel the same. I see posts from people, and immediately internalize them. It is unhealthy, and I am well-aware of when I’m allowing it to happen. Ultimately, I’ve gotten to the point where social media isn’t a friend, but rather – a foe.

Another trick of fate

Self-confidence is attractive. Conversely, it is never good when someone seems desperate, has little poise, or self-assurance. If I am not careful, I can easily slide down that hill into the woe-is-me cesspool, and I have zero interest in wallowing there. I can see that social media is the kind of kryptonite that can throw me there. While it can, and has built me up over the years, social media has also helped to tear me down.

Not being mentioned in a list of people that inspired a friend didn’t shove me into a cavern of despair. Seeing posts from people who have long since stopped being close confidants doesn’t make me wistful and sad for what once was. Reading tweet after tweet suggesting that wishing “thoughts and prayers” are now horrible things to say didn’t hurt me directly. Knowing that we didn’t even go a full 24-hours without a mass shooting didn’t altogether drive me over an edge. No. It is all of it, actually. All of it – collectively – made me see that social media is no longer my friend.

Nearly everyone has asked at one point or another why the band isn’t on social media anymore – at least beyond more than a post here or there. This morning, the nicest thing I saw on Twitter was from someone (*cough* Dom *cough*) who almost never posts. They retweeted a picture from freaking 2012. That was SEVEN years ago…and it was the best thing I saw in my timeline, amongst of all the other tweets (not specifically aimed at anyone) filled with vitriol, anger and insults. Seriously? That’s the best?

Gotta break it all

People like to blame a specific troll, or say it’s the “crazies” that drove band members like John from Twitter. Did you ever ask him personally? (I haven’t) What if it wasn’t any one thing? Maybe it was ALL of it. What if they realized that it just isn’t that helpful, and it really isn’t much fun? That’s where I’m at.

I don’t know what I’m going to do, or how to handle it. I’m still online, of course. Regardless of what I do in my personal life, Daily Duranie won’t be affected. I’ve talked about taking a break before, and for the most part I think I did. Maybe I need another, but perhaps I also just need to unplug a bit more extensively.

I don’t like being dramatic and announcing an exit. Fishing or sympathy or reassurance isn’t something I like doing. I truly hate seeing people beg not to be “cut” from the friend list, or what-have-you. If I’m going to cull my friends and followers, or if I’m going to completely quit social media in my personal life; readers are probably going to be the last to know. I’m not going to tell you all so that you can “kiss the ring” and stay. That’s kind of the opposite of the point.

That isn’t even the purpose of my writing about it here. I’m just wondering if anyone else feels the same. Social media is an integral part of being a fan. We all rely on it to stay connected. I’m just wondering how it would feel to disconnect myself, I guess. It feels so extreme. I wonder how other people manage it all. Any thoughts or ideas?

-R

Running Like a Fox

Ain’t your problem

One of the trickiest things about our fan community – is that while we are all here because we love the music, the way that fandom manifests for each one of us is very different. I don’t think we can judge fandom using one particular sort of barometer. It is a mistake I fell into early on in my fandom studies.

I believe, for the most part – and strictly when it comes to die-hard fans, there are likely two, perhaps three, different groups of people. The first group are the creators – they’re people who like to create content (of any kind) to go along with being a fan. Maybe they write blogs, maybe they do podcasts, make fanzines, design jewelry – it’s all content of one form or another. The next group collects. Those people might collect shows (meaning they go to as many as possible), or posters, or albums…or all of it! The final group might be the largest because they’re the consumers. Maybe they do a little of all of it: they buy the albums, go to the shows, and do the creative things. They aren’t doing more in one area than another. It’s fairly equal.

Even though we each might fit into one of those groups, I still don’t think there is, or should be, a barometer in order to judge who does what “the best” or “the most”. That’s the problem. It isn’t supposed to be a contest, yet for some bizarre reason, we try to make it one. I think this goes mostly for the females amongst us, but perhaps male fans find this also to be true.

What you say

This seems to happen often in our community, particularly lately. I used to joke about this going on between albums, but it is true. I think we get bored. We go after our own. It isn’t pretty. It is one reason why I’m glad the band has done a few things in between recording sessions (which have apparently taken place far more often than I’d realized). It has only been within the last few weeks that I’ve noticed the Duraniverse getting a bit restless.

I know it is a trying time. Summer is hot. People are anxious for whatever is coming next. It can be difficult to remind ourselves that we’re grown adults and to give one another some grace and respect. This is something I need to put into practice, and will continue working on.

Another rattle in your brain

Just today I was talking with a friend. We were commiserating over how we felt walking in to a crowded bar of Duranies. I definitely have felt in the past as if all eyes were on me, giving me the once over. Hello again, Sunflower Intermediate and your main locker hallway. My mom would constantly tell me not to worry about what the other, more popular girls said as I walked down the hall. “You’re there to learn, not to get into it with other people, Rhonda.”

(that never worked for me)

Isn’t it strange that even as many of us are edging ever closer to 50 than 40, all it takes is to walk into a room of our peers, or see something online that doesn’t sit well, to shove us straight back to the halls of junior high? Why is that? Why do we let it get to ourselves so easily?

-R

From This Cloud Where I Hang

Dangled in the blue

I quit Girl Scouts when I was in fourth grade. I think it might have been near the beginning of the school year, because I have no memory of actually wearing the green junior uniform my mom had bought me that summer. My brownie troop had combined with a junior troop, and several of the girls in that troop were popular, and immediately decided they didn’t like me. These fifth grade girls took it upon themselves to comment on every single thing I did wrong, from my clothes, to my hair, to the way I spoke. The friends I previously had in our troop stopped wanting to be my partner when we’d go on field trips, because the other girls made it very clear that anyone who hung out with me was as big of a loser as I was.

Slowly but surely, I stopped wanting to go to troop meetings. I’d been playing clarinet for a while by this time, and it wasn’t long before my dad suggested I make choices about what activities I wanted to stick with and ones I was willing to give up. Girl Scouts was immediately chopped because I knew I was the odd girl out.

I quit sorority in college for the same reasons, although there were financial concerns to help me double down on my decision. In hindsight, I don’t know what I was thinking when I went through Rush to begin with. I’ve never gotten along with groups of girls, and the more popular and/or catty they are, the worse it becomes. ZTA was no different. I had a group of a few pledge sisters that I was very close with, but other than that – many within my sorority house grew to dislike me. Let’s face it, I’m very outspoken, blunt, and quick to be annoyed by drama – and I was no different in 1991. I stuck out like a sore thumb, and believe me, I had no false hopes that I was liked by many people. When I left, I’m sure it was a relief for them as much as it was for me and my wallet. Fitting in was not an option for me.

I wish that I could be like you

I suppose you can say I’m socially awkward. I’m not insulted by that. In a lot of ways, I feel a little less weight on my shoulders when I just admit it. I’m not cool, I’m not put together. I’m me. That awkwardness sometimes makes it a little difficult to meet people, which is why I remain thankful I met Amanda so early on. She and I talk about that a lot, and I think that’s why we first decided to try hosting a meet up back when we’d started the blog. I mean, if she and I – two of the more awkward people on the planet, I presume (sorry Amanda) could meet and become best friends, couldn’t others? Shouldn’t we help other Duranies like ourselves find their people?

Our plan was simple: invite people to come hang out with us before a show. If NOTHING else, we could talk about Duran Duran, right? It is always common ground to start from. While I don’t take credit, we’ve seen wonderful friendships start at some of our events. I’m grateful to be able to see those connections happen. If something as easy as mentioning what bar we’re going to be hanging out at, and inviting others to join us, helps somebody find a friend, I’m overjoyed. The friendships have nothing to do with me personally, but it warms my heart to see somebody who might have just as much trouble in a crowd as I do, find their person to go to shows with. That matters to me more than I can even put into words.

As a result, we’ve been having meet ups for nine years. Whenever the band is touring, or has a show that we can get to – we try to do something. Although, Amanda and I are also the first to say we can’t always meet before every show we attend. We’ve tried though, and if we couldn’t meet before, usually do something after. We know what it is like to come out of a Duran Duran gig on a high and have nowhere to go, or anyone to talk to. So we try to plan something – even if it’s just sitting at a bar, or even standing outside of a venue to talk. We just try to include people, make them feel comfortable, and hope the community grows as a result.

Love is flawed now

This time, we’ve done some advertising for our meet up – and that accomplishes a number of things. First, every single time we go to a show and then get back home, Amanda and I get messages from fans who aren’t super involved in the community (or are brand new) saying they wish they’d heard about our party. No matter how many times we announce it here on the blog or on Twitter and Facebook, it is difficult to make sure everyone sees it. Running a Facebook ad campaign helps a little. Second, the ad works to get people curious about Daily Duranie, and from there they can look up our FB page, and then our website. Just like anything else, ads work to stir up traffic, and we need that from time to time, or else there’s never any growth.

The ads aren’t just to promote the party, even though at first glance that’s what they’re about. If someone can’t go to the party, maybe they’d look up our name and see our page, and then check out the blog itself. Ads are a great way to spread the word about our site and blog.

See the lawless cry

We’ve invested a lot of our own time, energy and yes, money, into Daily Duranie. This site and blog is our labor of love. It has never turned into a business for us, exactly, but I think Amanda would agree that we’ve both gotten a great amount of joy from it, and to be blunt- it kept me alive when not much else seemed to keep me going. I know some people think we’re crazy for investing so much into this, but the fact is – we’ve gotten more out of Daily Duranie on a personal level than we have ever put into it.

None of this is really about Duran Duran, though. We never had grand schemes that this blog would get us in front of a band member or four, Although, we’ve run into many people over the years who seem to be incredulous that we haven’t been given access to them. At first when people would tell us about how so-and-so gets free tickets, etc,I guess we were naively hopeful. That came to a halt quickly, though. In hindsight – we were foolish. Even if we had gotten in front of them, or had been given comp tickets, what then? No, we didn’t do this for free tickets, or for access—not really for any of that, although I’m sure that is hard to believe if you’re not Amanda or I.

The thing is, we write what we want to write. We feel what we want to feel, and we have been doing it that way for nine years. You don’t do something like this for very long, much less nine years, unless something other than meeting the band is your motivation (particularly because the closest we’ve gotten to them, collectively speaking, is in front of a stage at a gig). My motivation, to be honest – is just being liked. For once in my life, I just wanted to be liked, included and accepted, even with all my socially awkwardness. If I’m one of two people planning the events and writing the posts, I’m included!

Cut my cord now

Events over the past week or so have made me think twice, and maybe even three times, about what Amanda and I are really trying to accomplish. My biggest weakness is that I worry over what people think of me. I’m well-aware that there are some within the fan community that I’ll never quite win over. I know that I’ve written things that have upset people here and there. It is no secret that I’m not in the current “popular” crowd, and to come toe-to-toe with those people might mean dealing with their ire in force. I don’t like any of that. I just know that we’ve been connecting fans for nine years, and have no plans of stopping now. This time, I’m not quitting.

So here’s the thing: we’re having two meet ups in Las Vegas. They’re Saturday and Sunday at 5pm in The CliQue Bar downstairs in the Cosmopolitan. Amanda and I will be there hanging out and having drinks (and food) before the show whether a hundred people show, or we’re the only people in the bar. We would love company. If you’re already friends of ours, we can’t wait to see you! If you’re new to the community and don’t know anyone, we will happily introduce you to anyone we can. In all cases, expect that we’ll be chatting about the music, and having a great time!

I would be very unfair if I didn’t mention that there’s also another group having a Duran Duran Fan event in the main bar of The Cosmopolitan earlier in the day on Saturday – I believe it is at 1pm. I’m sure it’s going to be a great crowd of people. Amanda and I don’t feel like anyone needs to “choose” which event to attend, and we’re happy to see other Duran fans planning fun events for all of us to enjoy that weekend. Too much is NEVER enough, isn’t that right???

(I heard that somewhere…)

-R

Something On My Mind

Hello, Monday. I feel as though somewhere along the way, I lost one of my weekend days, because it feels like Monday arrived far too early. I’m still trying to regain some of the hours of sleep I missed out on from being at Vidcon last week. I wish I could say it was due to having so much fun, but in this case, I just didn’t sleep well.

We drove home late Saturday night, and arrived to see many tweets and posts about the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 – corresponding with the Kennedy Space Center show tomorrow.

I’m light years away

When the show was first announced, I knew right away that there’d be no way for me to get there. Sure, I could blame it on not having enough notice, but I could have had a month’s notice or even more, and still not been able to attend. Several years back, I went to a lot of things. I would fly across the country, and I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that many times, I didn’t even think twice about it. Three spousal job layoffs/changes, one very large move, childbirth, college, and countless grey hairs later, I’m finding that I not only think twice, I know I can’t travel like that anymore.

That fact is something I guess I’m still coming to terms with. I went from going to one show a tour (or even less), to taking a single trip to New Orleans and then Chicago, which ignited something in me. Suddenly, I felt the need to try and go to everything. My husband was less-than-thrilled with the arrangement. Usually though, I’d win him over by saying I’d save money in other ways, or that he didn’t have to buy me birthday/Christmas/Valentines/Mothers Day gifts, etc. In some ways that worked, but in others – I can see how selfish I was. Any extra money I came across would go towards seeing Duran Duran, and the fact is—when you have three kids and live in Southern California, there isn’t a lot of extra anything!

My head is full of chopstick

Even so, fandom – or planning to go to shows – was sort of like a drug for me. I couldn’t say no, and yet I didn’t go to nearly as many shows as a lot of people. Gigs would be announced and I’d think “Fly to Chicago? Oh, I shouldn’t…but I will!” “Go away for five or six days and see more than three shows? YES!” I wanted to go. I desperately wanted to be a part of the fandom wave that everyone seemed to be caught in.

During the Astronaut tour, which was really the first when I’d gotten involved online and knew people from all over the country – I’d sat on the sidelines for the most part. I went to two shows: Chicago and All-State Arena, and Milwaukee. That last one had been added to my itinerary without telling my husband. He’d expressly told me prior to even buying my Chicago ticket that I could choose ONE show to see, and that was it. “The concerts don’t change that much, Rhonda!”

Turns out, that while the set might not change that much (One night I heard “Nice” and the other I heard “Union of the Snake”), there are far more other, more subtle things, that do. Roger waved at us in Milwaukee. I cried when I heard “Tiger Tiger” in Chicago. I stood outside and waved to the band when they left the Riverside Theatre in Milwaukee. I had my closest friends with me for Chicago, and got to drive to Milwaukee with a full car of Duranies. That was the first time I’d ever done something like that. After those two shows, I never wanted to miss anything again.

I’m making a break

However, that was/is an impossibility, at least for me. I’ve never had carte blanche to go to any show I want. I don’t work outside of the home, and my money is never my own money. Even when I’ve done what I consider to be a ridiculous number of shows, I’ve had to pick and choose. Sometimes, I’ve chosen wrong. That’s the crap shoot of life, I suppose. In darker moments, I wonder what it would have been like if I could have gone to all the Astronaut shows my friend Jessica went to see, or if I could have flown overseas as many times as other friends have gone. Would I feel any differently about the band now?

Over the years, I’ve seen people come and go. After having been an active fan in the online community for nearly two decades now, I have seen some patterns of behavior emerge from the fog and dust. I think about the people who seemed to be “regulars” for the Astronaut and RCM tours, and for the most part – those people don’t come around often now, and I rarely see them.

Maybe they stopped going to shows or participating online because life circumstances changed. Perhaps it was because they got sick of some of the childish drama that goes on between fans. Maybe it was something else entirely -but the fact remains that they’re not doing much these days. I have friends who went to 14, maybe 15 shows for Astronaut that just stopped following the band for the most part Can there really be too much of a good thing?

They should be mine

Getting back to my situation here – I have serious budget constraints that make it nearly impossible for me to fly very often. I don’t even fly to visit my mom or sister, so how on earth can I justify flying to see a band that doesn’t even know I exist? It is particularly frustrating when I’ve made the decision to buy tickets to something, and then another opportunity comes up that sounds even better.

For example, tomorrow Duran Duran is playing at the Kennedy Space Center for the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11. As soon as this show was announced, I knew there was no way I could go. The idea of traveling to Florida was out of the question. A flight from here would easily cost $500 during the summer, plus the $300 ticket for the concert, another $300 or more for a hotel room and the additional expenses for food, uber and drinks. It adds up quickly to a similar amount that my family might spend on a camping vacation – one that we’re not even taking this year. HOWEVER…

Had I known that they were going to be playing this show in advance of buying the tickets for Las Vegas (each was $441, if I remember correctly) I might have chosen differently. Sure, I’ll see Duran Duran three times in September whereas if I’d gone to Florida I’d only be seeing them once – but how many times does someone get the chance to see Duran Duran at the Kennedy Space Center??? I worry that I made the wrong choice. Zigged when I should have zagged…bought when I should have waited.

I’m saying this in private

Similar scenarios have happened before. In 2013, Amanda and I along with a committee of amazing helpers worked our butts off to put on a fan convention in Chicago. I can’t remember the precise timing, but I would say that within days of returning from that weekend, Duran Duran announced a special opportunity to see the debut of UnStaged at MOMA in New York City.

I think that at least to begin with – both she and I weren’t too upset. I mean, to some degree we’d wished we could go. We’d worked hard to put on that convention for fans, and in a lot of ways New York City seemed like it would be a great way to reward ourselves. Even so, Amanda didn’t have time off from work, and my husband had pretty much declared a moratorium on spending money and traveling. Just getting to Chicago was hard enough. Amanda and I paid the same amount of money to attend the convention as every one else. That’s right – we bought tickets to the very convention we were putting on for everyone else to enjoy. I paid for my flight from California, and Amanda and I split the cost of our hotel room., same as everyone else. That money did not come out of the convention budget. No sooner did I get home and back to an exploding family crisis when the MOMA show was announced.

We absolutely tasted our share of sour grapes while watching a few of the same people who came to our convention fly on to NYC. I remember feeling so dejected after I saw how the evening went. What started as a screening ended up as a cocktail party with the band present. There were pictures, and the band seemed so welcoming to fans that night…those who were there were so lucky!! Oh well, right? What can you do??

Breaking open doors I’ve sealed up before

Even with the missteps I’ve taken along the way (and there have been many), I can’t be bitter. My days of sour grapes are over. I’ve done and seen a lot – much more than a lot of people. I’ve had times when I’ve been able to afford to go to a lot of shows and travel, and now I’m in a time where I really just can’t. Oddly, I feel like I’ve won the lottery because for the past few years – coincidentally the time when I’ve been least able to afford to fly – the band has played within reasonable driving distance to where I live. I am very lucky, which is why you’re not going to see me complain about set lists or much anything else. My luck isn’t going to hold out forever though, and I would imagine that next year – should they decide to tour for their 40th anniversary – I’ll be sitting at home doing most of my cheering.

I also can’t ignore the fact that for most of the rest of the world, they’ve had to sit on the sidelines since before Paper Gods was released, watching the US fans complain about ticket prices, set lists, and the like. It is easy to forget that many of these worldwide fans would pay whatever ticket price the band wanted, and would be willing to listen to whatever set the band plays, just to be able to see them.

Looking for cracks in the pavement

The reality is, most of us just can’t go to everything. I feel like I’m a recovering addict in that sense. Every time something is announced, I have to forcibly talk myself out of feeling like I need to go. I’m learning to say “no” to myself more and more often. I can’t say it’s easy, but a lot of times, it’s necessary. I’m not responsible for only myself. I have a family and husband to consider, and I wouldn’t trade my family for all of the Duran Duran shows in the world. That’s progress, right?

I see friends tell one another all the time that they should just buy the ticket and that they’ll make more money later. That thinking might work, until something catastrophic happens. I’ll never forget going to New York City in 2007 to see the special fan show that fell on Father’s Day. My husband and dad were fine with me going, and I came home to celebrate with them the following weekend. Little did I know at the time, that was the last Father’s Day I’d ever spend with my dad. I think about that a lot.

I’m a work in progress. Every single time I start feeling self-pity because I can’t be in Florida, or something else, I quickly force myself to acknowledge that other fans in the world haven’t done much in several years. I have one hell of lot of nerve feeling bad about one single event. That usually snaps me out my funk. I still feel like a recovering addict in some weird ways – but I’m working on it.

-R

To hear the drum

Over the weekend, I chatted back and forth with another Duranie about drumsticks. She’d gotten Roger’s sticks recently, and I’d congratulated her on social media, mentioning that I don’t even have a pair. Somehow over the years, I’ve never been that lucky. There was one time I came close, though. Another, much taller man right beside me grabbed them in midair, and you know – that’s the way it goes. After that, I realized it was silly to keep trying. Someone always wants them a little more, or is a little luckier in the process.

Anyway, this person was thrilled to have secured sticks from Roger. She encouraged me to keep trying for them, and asked where I’d be sitting at the upcoming shows I’m attending. I explained that in most cases, I’m really too far back. Although I’ve had front row a few times now, I haven’t tried for sticks.

I thought about that after our conversation ended. Roger was my favorite band member from the first moments I became a fan. He still IS my favorite, but it’s different in adulthood than in teen years—at least for me. For a few years, I held up signs for him at shows, but I don’t do that anymore. I don’t know when it stopped, or why. On second thought, I do know about when, and certainly why I left the signs at home. I became more aware of the fact that due to this site – more people knew me. I’ve always been a bit self-conscious, and that hasn’t changed with age.

Jungle drums they all clear the way for me

Fandom for me, is a tangled mess. That much, I know for sure. Part of it is, I’m well-aware that I write a fan blog. That alone is enough to make people smirk, and yes – it bothers me. I mean, it’s one thing to say you’re a huge fan. Even that might get grins when you’re amongst people who don’t really understand there is life after the age of 30 or even 40. Then when they ask how many shows you’ve gone to. I usually say “around 50”. The expressions change from amusement to almost concern, and then back to a smirky, snarky, sort of partial grin. But then, if I dare go one further (and I don’t always) by announcing that I run a fan blog/website dedicated to Duran Duran fans, that’s when the eyes roll and I can see a slight recoil, as though they’re trying to back away. This comes in especially handy at family gatherings, and workplace events for my husband.

In all seriousness though, I don’t like the characterization much. I’m pretty sure I’m not a crazy person, but the very second one backs up a statement such as “Not only have I gone to a lot of concerts, but I own and operate a fan blog dedicated to Duran Duran”, with a phrase like,“I’m not crazy, though”, it’s too late. My fate, and the corresponding label, already been granted. I must be one of those certifiably crazy obsessive fans.

Just a toy that you keep at home

I suppose that while there were a number of reasons why I stopped asking for sticks – one big one was because I thought that the more obsessive I acted, the more I asked for stuff, the less-serious people would take the blog. I didn’t want to be the punchline in someone’s joke.

Here’s a little nugget I’ve learned, but still wrestle with, over the nine years we’ve blogged. It doesn’t matter. At this point, people have already made their decisions about Daily Duranie, and particularly about me as a person. Holding up signs, asking for sticks, pictures, or even hugs from people I care about, isn’t going to make a bit of difference. People either like the blog, or they discount it completely. My internal struggle, or my anxiety, comes from knowing I can’t change any of it, but wishing that I could. For me, I think that constant inner tug-of-war is my Achilles heel. I seek approval and acceptance, from everyone, everywhere. It is an impossible task.

Several years ago, I asked Dom for a guitar pick before he left the stage after a concert. Not only did he flick the one he had been using my way (amazingly enough, I caught it), but he sent his guitar tech out to throw the rest of his picks from his mic stand at me. Other people eagerly grabbed those, but I didn’t care because I had the one he’d used just two minutes prior. I still have that pick in my jewelry box. I’ve never known what else to really do with it. I think the memories of getting it, or running into him after a show and having him come over to say hi, or giving me a quick hug in a hallway, are more precious to me than the pick itself.

With the strays and the damaged

I don’t know if I’ll ever hold up a sign for Roger again. I still feel weird about doing it, even though I know I probably shouldn’t. Also, I don’t know if having sticks would really make a difference. Would it make me feel like any more of a fan? Probably not. Don’t get me wrong – getting sticks is cool, but is it any more exciting than speaking to him at a signing? I’m really not sure much could top that moment for me, and it’s just a memory at this point. I don’t even have video or recording of our brief conversation. My point is, maybe someone else really wants them and needs them. I wouldn’t feel right about taking them when I know of someone else who has desperately wanted them.

I have so much work to do, personally. My anxiety, while better now that I’m living in a semi-rural and peaceful place, still plagues me more than I want to admit. I continue worrying about how other people see me, see the blog, or see my fandom, entirely too much. I’m a work in progress, but I’m getting there.

-R

What Keeps you going?

What happens when there’s a power outage and I’m still sleeping?

Basically, I slept in far too late, and now I’ve got a blog to write and publish in record time before a meeting with Amanda.

They get me

Many fans responded to my question about fandom. What keeps you interested as a Duran Duran fan? Handfuls of fans responded, from incredulous sounding “The music, of course!” to the slightly more introspective, “Because they get me.” Several others feel that it is a combination of the music and the friendships they’ve made along the way.

I feel as though I need to clarify that Amanda and I weren’t fishing for specific answers. There’s no one “right” answer that we were hoping someone would type and send. Our creative juices needed a jump start. I think we needed reminding as to why we’rehere to begin with. I call this, “getting stuck in our own head(s)”.

That said, of course we assumed that most were still here because of the music. I think though, I was hoping to gain a better understanding of what about their music it really IS that keeps us all anxious and waiting for whatever project comes next. When I think about why I’m still a fan, it all feels fairly overwhelming. Where do I even start?!? I suspect many of you might feel the same.

The push and pull

Does anyone think that their feelings about Duran Duran have changed since they first became a fan? Maybe their videos intrigued you, initially. Perhaps like me, you loved the idea of a synths paired with a rocking electric guitar. As the decades flew by, you can see that your interests in them have changed.

So in my case as I became a fan back in the 80s, I felt that other bands that relied more heavily on keyboards and synthesizers. While I can name many I liked, it always felt a bit shallow, or thin in sound to me. Duran Duran had this push and pull of balance, the sound was layered and deep, and I liked that. As the years have gone by, though, I feel as though the band has changed a little in that regard. I don’t think there’s that same constant struggle for equilibrium, although the depth of sound has always been there.

No fast food

I’m not going to rehash the band’s career because that’s not really my point – but I’ve found that my interests in their music have evolved a bit. I find myself listening to the words, recognizing how the music may drive the lyrics (or vice-versa). I love the way each one of their songs is a full-package. No two are the same, just as no two albums are the same. Speaking of albums, the one thing I appreciate most about Duran Duran is that their albums are typically meant to be listened to from start to finish. It is a full, complete story. There’s no “fast food music” delivery here, where you can buy a song or two on iTunes and feel like you’ve gotten the complete meal. No, with Duran Duran – sitting down and committing the full-45 minutes to an hour to really absorb the entire message is key. I felt that with Paper Gods, with All You Need is Now, and yes, even with Red Carpet Massacre, believe it or not!

If anyone has more to add on this subject, I am always ready and willing to share ideas. I love reading what everyone has to say about what continues driving their fandom. So much has changed during the four decades the band has been in existence – I want to hear from you. What keeps you going?

-R

Another West Coast Date added!

Agua Caliente just announced

I have an actual writing assignment that I’m supposed to be doing today. I’ll get to that—but it would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Duran Duran has announced yet another west coast date for September. This time, they’ll be making a return visit to Agua Caliente in Rancho Mirage, California on September 5th!

Thanks to the eagle eyes of a friend, I was alerted to the new date yesterday. My habitual procrastination has finally paid off. I put off purchasing plane tickets because I didn’t like the cost of flights to Vegas. I debated over driving. Lo and behold – it turns out driving IS the better option after all! I’m making a pit stop in the Palm Springs area along the way to Vegas, assuming of course, that I’m able to get a ticket to the show.

Agua Caliente is one of the best venues I’ve seen the band perform. The theater is small, the sound is pretty great, and there’s really not a bad seat in the house. This time, however, is going to be a little different. According to Agua Caliente’s website, the DD show this time around includes GA pit. For those of us not happy with that, there are still seats in the loge, mezzanine and balcony areas. Pricing is as follows, courtesy of hotwatercasino.com:

Ticket Prices:


$115.00 – STANDING ROOM ONLY | GA PIT | NO SEATS
$115.00 – LOGE
$95.00 – MEZZANINE
$85.00 – BALCONY

6 ticket limit.

Public ticket sale begins July 6th at 8am local time. This is not the same information as for the DDM member pre-sale. That will begin on July 3rd at 10am local time.

Keep in mind that the pricing above is only for the public sale. DDM pricing will likely be different if they offer VIP tickets.

Flying solo

It would appear that I am headed to the show alone. Amanda cannot take an additional day off of teaching, and the rest of the usual suspects I know are also struggling with their work/life schedules. I’ve never gone to a Duran Duran concert alone (although I did go to their mini-concert for Jimmy Kimmel on my own!). This will be a new experience for me! Let me know if you’re going to the concert and we can meet up for pre-show drinks or food before the gig!

On to that writing assignment of mine.

Readers and active participants on our social media may have noticed that Amanda and I have been asking questions about being a fan. We wanted to know what first drew fans to Duran Duran. Then as a follow up, I asked what kept people as fans after all this time. Sure, Amanda and I have our own answers that we’ll share at some point. For now, we want to know yours!

What drew you to Duran Duran and what keeps you interested?

There were certainly mentions of nostalgia and even their ever-present pinup-able looks. However, by and large, most people say it is the music that keeps them fans. I am not surprised by that answer. Although I do wonder if any of us can really put our finger on exactly WHAT it is about their music that keeps us interested.

Don’t be surprised when you see more questions popping up from our Daily Duranie social media accounts. We are always curious about what makes fans tick. Part of that is understanding what brought us here to begin with. Thanks for playing along with us!

-R