Tag Archives: Duran Duran fans

Almost Impossible for Fans to Become Friends

Late last week we were treated to the return of airwaves by a Mr. John Taylor. He was interviewed for a Toronto radio station – Boom97.3 – and you can hear that interview here.

I’d encourage fans to give it a listen because it’s quite a lively, entertaining 15 minutes or so! John sounded great, and I daresay he even sounded excited about getting back out on the road.

I won’t ruin the entire interview for everyone – but I will touch on one subject that had several talking on Twitter and Facebook last week. The topic of Bowie had been brought up, and John responded by talking about his influence on the band and how they had known him for quite some time. He then made the statement that when you’re a fan, there’s never really any getting past that.

“It’s almost impossible, in my experience, that once you’ve been a fan, to become a friend.”

Context, of course, is important. They were talking about Bowie and how the band had toured with him and were able to see him over that length of time. John’s argument is that of course, once you have someone on that pedestal and you look up to them in that “fan” sort of way, you always will.  I think his intention here was that although they’d hung out with Bowie many times over the years, they still looked up to him and saw him as their hero. Very reasonable feelings to have. But does that mean John feels the same about fans in general – such as his own?

Here’s the thing: I don’t know the answer here. I’m a fan. Not a friend. I don’t know any of them beyond the people I see on stage. Hell, I’m even behind many of you in that department because I’ve only just gotten pictures with a couple of them, by no means am I going to say I know them personally. All I can really do is say how I feel.  Maybe some of you will feel similarly, and perhaps not.

First of all, that pedestal is real. In plenty of ways, it has to be there. Particularly for those of us who became fans when we were very young. Hell, Amanda became a fan before she was even TEN. Of course she’s going to look up to the band at that point. I know I sure did. Back then, it was even “worse” (so to speak) because there was no internet. No social media. No news other than through magazines. At that point, they were 100% completely and totally untouchable. The idea of being in the same air space with any of them seemed completely out of reach, much less hanging out over coffee or tea. But now I’m in my 40s now. Do I still feel that way?

As I was saying to someone last week on Twitter – they are still my heroes, to a certain, limited, extent. I haven’t exactly forgotten how I felt about them when I was ten – for example. I’m sure many fans out there are nodding their heads in agreement. I think the difference now is that the hero-worship I once had for them has now turned to respect. However, I still remember what it was like to be a teenager and hear them on the radio. I remember that giddiness – it was part of the fun. Don’t we all??

More on that respect thing: If I wanted or needed to go up to John Taylor or Roger Taylor to ask for something, whether that’s a picture or even just to say hello for instance, I would still be nervous because I respect them. For me though, that isn’t because I think they are Gods and would fawn over them. I have seen people do it, and I always feel for those people because in the end it’s uncomfortable and no one wants that. I’d have to think the band would be sick of it by now. However, I’d be nervous in the same way I’d be nervous going to my boss (well, back when I actually had a boss, that is) and asking for a raise, or even those butterflies I have when I meet new people for the first time. For me it’s the same feeling. The hero thing, while sure I can acknowledge that the band matters – isn’t really the same now as it was when I was ten and needed them to occupy my hopes and dreams. Their role in my life has changed. Yes, they’re actually real people, as it turns out. I get it, and to be blunt: hell would freeze over before I would ever be willing to make myself look like a fool in front of people I respect.

Even so, can I actually expect to be friends?

I really don’t know. For me, it’s an impossible question to even fathom, to a very large extent. I mean, I’ve met a lot of Duranies online over the years. We started talking whether by message board or through the blog, or even on Facebook or Twitter. Some of you I even called my friends before I met you personally because I felt like I knew you well enough to know. That said, there are people out there that I’ve met online or in person, and well, we didn’t jive so much. It happens, right?? I don’t know who I can or cannot be friends with until I really have the chance to know them. I think that’s why the idea of being friends with any member of Duran Duran sounds so, well, fake to me. I would much rather talk about being friends with John or Simon, or Nick or Roger. The whole “Duran Duran” thing really shouldn’t enter into it until I have no choice but to recognize the guy I’m friends with happens to be in that band.

But then there’s that whole “famous person” thing. The “Pedestal”.  That’s the real wrench that’s thrown in. Does it really make a difference? I am sure it must.

All I know for sure is this: I have friends who call themselves friends with various members of the band. I would imagine that for Nick, John, Simon or Roger, it is difficult to know at first whether someone is genuinely friends with you because they like you or because they want to be friends with the band. I can see that being a problem, and I can see how their onstage persona could really screw with that possibility. It has got to be as difficult for John Taylor, Roger Taylor, Simon Le Bon and Nick Rhodes to get past being members of Duran Duran as it is for me to get past being a fan of the band. All I know with relative certainty is that we’re humans.

I don’t believe John meant his statement to be hurtful or even to marginalize fans. Unfortunately based on some of the comments I saw the other day, many may have taken it that way. Some fans reminded me that Nick’s current partner was once a fan just like us.  But out of thousands and thousands, how many really do count themselves good friends and vice-versa? I would venture to guess not many.  When I really think about it, I know a lot of people, but truly very few are what I would call good friends. That’s really not so very different from anyone else, celebrity or not.

The real trouble, as I see it, is that many of us fight that “fan” label each day because it’s become such a bad word in many ways. We are sensitive to that word, and yet for me – it is a huge part of my identity both personally and professionally at this point. Many outside the world of fandom equate it with being crazy. Obsessive. Out-of-control. It’s not an easy road for anyone, and as always, these boundaries are difficult to navigate. I think all we can really do is try to have understanding and respect for one another.

-R

You’re Fooling the Mirror

Over the weekend, Amanda wrote a blog asking what seemed to be a pretty simple question – can we really know the band? Amanda’s blog was interesting to me for a number of reasons – particularly because most people who responded on Facebook wanted to tell their story. I know that Amanda was really dismayed when readers noticed the summary snippet on Facebook and just answered her question about being a fan – and I can understand why, because her blog really wasn’t about that, it was merely a question to get the juices flowing. When did you become a fan?

It is the one topic that gets people talking, every single time. People very much want to tell their story, and I want to embrace that. We just need to give them a place to feel safe and be able to share how they feel.

In a lot of ways, that’s the reason this blog exists. When we first started Daily Duranie, we wanted somewhere to tell OUR story. Yes, we wanted there to be somewhere online that people could come, read, relate and respond, but all of that really has to do with telling our stories. For whom? Well, I don’t know – maybe to at least a certain degree I naively thought that if our stories (and I don’t just mean my story or Amanda’s stories, I mean fans in general)  were out there, someone would read. Who is that “someone”?  Anyone. Everyone.  And sure, that includes Duran Duran. I’d be an idiot if I didn’t admit at least that much.

I can’t say I’m speaking for Amanda here, because believe it or not, we never really vocalized between one another about Duran Duran reading the blog specifically. Those words were never spoken as we started out on this venture. First of all, why in the hell would the band care? Secondly, it almost seems egotistical to assume that the band would even READ our blog. (and quite frankly some of you have rather enjoyed telling us that in some of the more colorful comments and emails we’ve gotten over the years) They’re busy guys. Why would they care about a fan blog?!? Fair enough. Thirdly, even when we first requested a link on duranduran.com – we were politely told that they weren’t doing that any longer. To me, that pretty much explained everything I needed to know. So, we just kept writing and didn’t worry so much about how many or whom. We just kept telling our stories.

I tried to consider what fans would want to talk about when I wrote the blog each day. After all, there’s a lot of drama that goes around the fandom, isn’t there? Whether that drama is about getting close to the band, still acting as though we’re 12 instead of in our 40s, or about the constant undercurrent of competition that seems to linger – anyone who denies the drama either purposefully doesn’t see, or isn’t really involved in the community to notice. And that’s fine. But I really wanted there to be somewhere that would shed light on all of that, plus more. People genuinely want those stories to be told. I know this because as we wrote more and more, people read, and shared, and read some more. So the blog was more about what it is like being a fan than loving the band. And at some point, seemingly out of nowhere, a link went up on the band’s site for this very blog.

Largely unnoticed by fans (we can see the amount of traffic comes from there to here), for us, the link is symbolic that we must matter to someone because the band doesn’t link very many sites. We genuinely appreciate that vote of support and confidence. The link has been up for a few years now, maybe more, and I don’t spend time worrying about who might be reading or what our traffic looks like. Sometimes it’s hard due to one thing or another, but I really try to write from the same emotional place I always did instead of worrying about hitting keywords and crap that doesn’t matter.

It’s the stories though – the stories of how or when or why – that seem to matter most. I don’t really think that people care so much about how I feel regarding the Grammys, or what I think of the band’s latest video – maybe some do, maybe some just want someone to argue with – but I think what really connects with people is when we give people the chance to relate to being a fan. They want to tell their stories, and they want someone to read those stores, and SEE them as people, not just as nameless faces in a crowd.  Not just as hands outstretched for a handshake, not just as fingers grasping various memorabilia to be signed. We want to be seen.

Can you SEE me?

Do you KNOW me? 

Do you RECOGNIZE me?

Do we really know Duran Duran? I think we do. We know as much as the band wants or needs us to know. The question becomes much more complicated if we’re asking whether or not we know Simon Le Bon, John Taylor, Nick Rhodes or Roger Taylor, of course, but I think we know Duran Duran.

I think the real question worth least pondering, is whether or not the band really knows their fans.

-R

12 Reasons People LOVE Duran Duran in 2016

Sometimes, an article or online post will catch my attention and I will feel compelled to respond to it.  This morning, I ran across this article/post on dailyfeed out of the UK entitled 12 Reasons Most People LOVED Duran Duran in the 80s.  As soon as I saw the title, I knew that I had to take a look at it and I also figured that I might agree with most of it but there might be some reasons that I don’t relate to, even though I did love Duran Duran in the 1980s.  Here is their list:

  • They wrote their own music
  • They had great fashion sense
  • They married supermodels
  • They had “brilliant” lyrics
  • The Wild Boys video was “unbelievable”
  • They were Princess Diana’s favorite band
  • Nick Rhodes was the “coolest man on the planet”
  • Arena is a favorite album
  • They had great live shows
  • They inspired “modern” acts
  • They had “brilliant” videos
  • They are still together

Now, I would recommend actually going to the article to see the pictures that go with as well as the brief explanation for each of these choices.  So, what do I think of them?  Well, right away, I might comment that some of these reasons aren’t related to the 1980s.  For example, their influence on others wasn’t known in the 1980s.  We might have guessed that they would be an inspiration on others but we didn’t know that then.  No one did.  Nonetheless, this list made me think that I might create my own list of why people LOVE Duran Duran NOW.  Some of my list will match the original’s but, there will be some changes as well.

Number 1:  Duran Duran has written some of the best songs that have ever been recorded all  from their first single, Planet Earth, to their most recent single, What Are the Chances.  Many of these songs have stood the test of time and I suspect the most recent ones as well.

John fashionNumber 2:  While we admire Duran Duran’s great fashion sense, wSimon fashione also can laugh at some of their fashion choices now.  We can appreciate that they don’t always have to be “cool”.  They can be just
themselves and be comfortable with who they are!

 

Number 3:  Duran Duran makes us think.  Yes, they absolutely do make us think, whether it is by those brilliant lyrics mentioned by the original post or by their videos that seem to be more than what they seem on the surface.

Number 4:  While Duran Duran can make us think, they can also provide a serious escape from reality and remind us that fun is necessary in life!  Perhaps, they is why so many of us choose to go on tour to see them as much as we can!

Number 5:  Duran Duran will always be cool but, sometimes, they can be pretty dorky, which we love, too!  John Taylor’s dance in Danceophobia, anyone?

Number 6:  Speaking of “dorky” and dancing, Simon’s dancing is ALWAYS entertaining and never fails to make me laugh!!

Number 7:  Duran Duran IS a great live band!  No matter how many shows I go to, they never cease to amaze me by how fabulous they truly are live.

Number 8:  On top of making us think and making us laugh, they can also really make us feel.  Ordinary World might bring out the tears while Rio reminds us that they make us feel “alive, alive, alive”.

Number 9:  Duran Duran has recorded 14 amazing studio albums, including one, Paper Gods, released last year.  While I may not love each album equally, ALL of them have gems on them and songs that have made my life brighter for simply existing.

Number 10:  Beyond the fabulous music, Duran Duran also takes their time to consider the visual, whether that visual is in video form, an album cover or in the font that is used for merchandise.  The details matter to them.

duran-duran-paper-gods-cover

Number 11:  Duran Duran has fabulously dedicated fans.  Each of you reading this should now look in a mirror!  Yes, I am talking to you.  Go.  Do it.  You are a fabulous fan!  Often these wonderful fans meet and become the best of friends!  (Some of those friends are crazy enough to write a blog every day!)

Amanda & Rhonda Ace Rooftop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number 12:  Duran Duran is STILL around and have had such an amazing career that has spans decades!  We all hope that they will continue to be around for a very, very, very long time to come!

-A

Picking Duran Duran Favorites!

Today’s poll question about people’s favorite song off of Duran Duran’s latest, Paper Gods, is getting quite a lot of attention.  I love how many people have voted and I love when people comment on one form of social networking or another about why their favorite song is their favorite.  It got me thinking.  (Always dangerous, I know!) What makes a favorite song, a favorite?  Then, I started to think about songs that I really bonded with as a kid vs. the songs I bonded with as an adult.  They have definitely changed.  Is it because my criteria for a favorite song has changed?  I think so!

When I was a kid, I remember getting certain songs in my head.  In fact, they were so in my head that I couldn’t get them out and I drove everyone around me crazy with them!  Let me give a couple of examples.  First, I remember having the chorus to Save a Prayer stuck in my head one afternoon when I was hanging out with my best friend, at the time.  It was summer and we were hanging out in my backyard.  I kept singing the chorus out loud over and over again. (Much like what my students do to me now!)  My childhood best friend was also a Duranie so you would think that she would appreciate this.  She did, too…for like the first two and a half hours.  Then, she had enough!  A similar situation happened when the Reflex came out.  Luckily, this time, both of us were completely addicted!  We were so addicted, in fact, that whenever and I mean whenever it was on MTV or the radio we would call each other up!!  We spent a lot of time on the phone in the spring of 1984!  Thus, as a kid, what made a favorite song was that it got stuck in my head!  It had to be catchy!  I didn’t think of the lyrics or dive deep into the instrumentation.  Now, though…

When I think of my favorite songs now, they tend to be ones in which the instrumentation really sticks out!  My favorite is Planet Earth, which has the fabulous call and answer between guitar and keyboard, not to mention that fabulous bass line!  I also love how the lyrics capture this spirit that Duran has with popular culture, science fiction, humanity.  Therefore, the lyrics tend to be super important to me as well now.  I might go so far as to say that, for the last couple of albums, what has really hooked me is the lyrics.  Let me give some examples.  All You Need Is Now, the song, took me a few listens to grasp the instrumentation with that jarring and unusual beginning.  What kept me listening, though, was the lyrics.  “Stay with the music.  Let it play a little longer” is a sentiment that most Duranies have felt or feel even now about the band.  Many of us loved that the song seemed to be about them and US and our history together.  Then, another one of my absolute favorite Duran songs of all time grabbed me, lyrically, from this album, too, which is Before the Rain.  In this case, I loved the feel of the song, musically, but didn’t have a connection to the lyrics until my beloved cat and grandma died ten days apart.  All of a sudden lines like, “On the bomb ticks that is my heartbeat.  In every life flash, in every car crash.  I hear the silence waiting to fall” took on new meaning as I watched two lives come to an end, leaving my broken heart beating and silence.

Lyrics have become so important to me that I do think they played a huge role in me really grasping and embracing Paper Gods.  I had been listening to the album for a week or so and had begun to really enjoy it but I wasn’t hooked yet.  All of a sudden, I was listening to it with earbuds on to really focus on the songs when I noticed the lyrics to Last Night in the City, a song that I had initially dismissed.  Lines like, “Hearts’ spinning all around on me (together).  Now they’re surrounding me.  This is how we get connected.  Running out the shadows into light!”  This is how I feel on tour!  Let me listen again!  More lines that feel like touring like, “I’m not gonna sleep tonight.  Till the morning fills the sky,” and “This is our time!”  Holy crap!  At that very minute, I got a text message from Rhonda who had realized the exact same thing!  For literally the next two hours, Rhonda and I went back through each song, listening to the lyrics, analyzing them, connecting to them.

Fast forward to a Sunday in October as I sat on a plane heading back home from tour and once again, I found myself listening to the album.  I had a piece of paper in front of me that held my flight info.  Throughout my flight, it became more than that.  It became a paper filled with more lyrics, more lines that now held new significance to me.  I still have that paper as it represents an even deeper connection to the album than I had before.  Each time I listen to Duran or really dive into the lyrics, I’m reminded of how SMART the lyrics really are.  They make me think.  They make me feel.  They also often feel like they are directly speaking to and/or about me.  Perhaps, this is why how I choose my favorite Duran songs have shifted.  Lyrics matter a lot more now.

What about the rest of you?  How do you choose your favorites?  Has the process changed?

-A

Facebook Q&A with Simon Le Bon

In case you missed it, Simon was on Facebook today, fielding questions from the crowd of Duranies, typing ever so quickly and creatively to get their curiosities answered by Mr. Le Bon (along with super quick typer Katy Krassner, of course!).

I always wonder how these things look on the other end – is Simon on the phone with Katy as she asks him questions and he answers? Is he looking at Facebook and telling Katy what questions he wants to answer? I have no idea, but it was those things that I was wondering about as I sorted through the hundreds of topics and fans, all wanting their moment of notoriety of having a question answered.  Not one to disappoint, Simon answered plenty of questions this morning, ranging from how it feels to have come all this way in Duran’s career (He said it feels “great”) to what songs he favors because of their importance to the band’s career (At least to me, it was surprising to read that he feels strongly about “Is There Something I Should Know” because it entered the UK charts at #1. Fair enough!).  I don’t know that there were any REAL surprises from the Facebook Q&A, except that having such things on Facebook is a challenge to follow…at least from my end.

That’s the one slight observation I made, and I’m wondering if others found themselves in a similar situation.  I had a difficult time following along – and my method sort of went like this: Read thread, hit refresh, read thread again…hoping to find any new question that had been answered. Get to end of thread. Sigh. refresh again. After a few passes through the content, I decided to just wait until I knew it was over, then go back through and find the answers. Thankfully, Katy (DDHQ) must have realized it was tough to follow and was nice enough to screen shot the questions he answered and put them all in the album on the band’s Facebook page. Easy!

I did see a few fans comment that the system on Facebook is just not user-friendly for something like a Q&A. I think that’s one of the main reasons Amanda and I decided to start a message board, because that way – threads are easy to follow and real discussions can be had.  That said, there are people who really enjoy the Facebook atmosphere, and this Q&A probably worked very well for those people. Social media is definitely not one-size-fits-all. While audiences tend to overlap to a certain degree, by reaching out to different avenues of social media such as Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter (among others I am sure), Duran Duran is much more likely to reach a wider cross-section of their audience – which keeps fans happy in the end.

You can find the full Facebook Q&A here, if you haven’t already taken a peek! I’ve linked the picture announcing the Q&A session, and from there, you just click on the forward arrow to see the questions one by one in Duran Duran’s photo album. Enjoy!

-R

 

This is How We Stay Connected

Well, I’ve hit the wall.  Or maybe I should say I’ve hit the door. I can’t really decide at this moment.  What I can do is describe how I’m feeling. It’s that point where I finally come down from the concert high and realize that I have at least months, if not years, until the next road trip, tour, concert or band member sighting.

That’s depressing.

The thing is, with all due respect to John, Simon, Nick, Roger AND Dom (can’t forget him!)…it’s not even necessarily all about them. It’s knowing that it will probably be six months to a year before I see Amanda again. (Does anyone else find it even mildly perplexing as to how we can run this site even though we are hardly EVER in the same state, much less the same room?!?) It’s realizing that evenings spent laughing over a table filled with, well…empty glasses…are a long way off again, never mind the days spent driving while trying to compile “just the right” set list to either drive people crazy, or make them laugh. (I think that depends on whether it’s Simon LeBon reading or another fan reading…and maybe not necessarily in that order!)  It’s recognizing the absence of friends. Even though I chat with most of them online each day at some point, it isn’t the same as being able to walk up to one of them and give them a hug or look at one another during a show and know we’re thinking the same thing. I miss them.

I’ve unpacked my bag, done laundry for everyone in the house, cleaned up the whirlwind I walked in on Sunday night, and have even caught up on and cleaned out emails and texts. I’ve looked at pictures, sat back and smiled at some particularly amusing memories, and wistfully daydreamed about others. I’ve bought groceries, and aside from a morning spent in urgent care (it turns out I will live), my life went back to normal just as quickly as the few days away seemed to pass. The band has since moved on to New York. Another album signing, another festival, and they’ll be headed back home to regroup before the UK shows take place in November. Life always seems to return itself to normal, no matter what happened the week prior.

I just don’t know how I get through this each time…whatever “this” is. I suppose it’s a bit of concert let-down. At first, I suppose I strive to keep talking about the shows or anecdotes from the road trip, as though by mentioning them it will keep everything fresh and alive. Then I start noticing the absence of people I care about, whether it’s that they don’t really tweet much, or that I don’t see them online very often, or just that I can’t pick up the phone every time I need to chat. I start thinking about how long it might be before I see them again, and what I can do in the meantime to make it easier. Let’s face it: Amanda is my best friend and we honestly spend about a week together (give or take a day or two) over the course of an entire year in the same place. Skype helps, but I don’t have the opportunity to Skype with everyone I miss. Yeah, it’s pretty depressing and I hate going through it. So what can really be done?

Well, for Amanda and I: we run this blog. It takes up a lot of our time as is, and invariably when we’re together, we come up with a brand new list of things we want to do, need to do and HAVE to do in order to keep it all going. I have to laugh because since I’ve been home, I’ve worked 10-hour days trying to catch up, clear out and read up on some things we’re hoping to do. While doing that now infamous road trip last week, we came up with brand NEW crazy ideas to pass the time, like a pumpkin-carving contest and adding a message board.  Our theory is basically that if we can’t have a Duranie community living in each of our respective towns, we can create one in a central place online. No, we’re not duranduranmusic.com, and this is not a fan club…but we are a community, and anyone can join. So that’s our goal going forward: to continue making this little blog into a real community. We’re going to run contests, have discussions, start a forum and continue planning for future meet-ups and even conventions; because as fans ourselves, we know what we want in a fan community. We’ll also stay funny, because well…we amuse ourselves, sometimes beyond reason!

No, I really can’t tell anyone here in the US for certain when John, Simon, Nick, Roger and Dom will be back for more. I don’t really know for sure when or where our next road trip or meet-ups will take place (But I will just throw this out to the powers that be – the more notice, the better – even if it’s just the name of the city, because that way we can plan. We can put together a trip plan, figure out meet-up times, and even do room blocks at hotels, which ultimately helps everyone in the long run). I only know that more is to come, and until then, we’re going to try our best to keep everyone busy.

In the meantime, if you happen to be well-versed in websites and have direct experience adding message boards to existing sites…shoot me an email.

-R

 

Symbiosis and the Duran Duran fan

The word of the day is “Symbiosis”.

I know many of you haven’t heard that word since middle school biology, so let’s do a refresher.  Symbiosis is any interdependent or mutually beneficial relationship between two persons, groups, etc.

Something miraculous happened today – my little write-up of the Spandau Ballet show was reposted and retweeted by the band themselves!! Spandau Ballet. That’s right. They took the time and interest to repost something a mere Spandau Ballet and/or Duran Duran fan had written. Call me flabbergasted.

There are moments in life where something happens and it feels like the filter that had been there diffusing the light and creating shadows has been removed. The view of everything around you completely changes. That’s kind of what today has been like for me as a Duran Duran fan. Over and over, I have had fans, fellow Duran Duran fans, tell me that they’ve met bands and artists…The Fixx, Spandau Ballet, Rick Springfield, Bryan Adams, among many many others. The one thing each Duran Duran fan noted was their shock that these bands and artists really wanted to meet their fans, the people who support them. At one point, it dawned on me that I really don’t have any idea what that  is like.

On one hand this morning, I was overjoyed. We have never had blogs posted by a band like Spandau Ballet before. (All due respect to Rio- the Duran Duran tribute band though, because they support this blog by reposting our reviews and interviews about them, and we truly appreciate the effort!) While I maintain that we write this blog for the Duran Duran fan out there – it feels very good to be acknowledged by the people we idolize. That small acknowledgement is validation for a tremendous amount hard work, of which there is plenty – both seen and unseen. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing on Facebook. Spandau Ballet actually reposted my article?? I dashed off a quick note to Amanda to share in my joy. I don’t know why, but it never occurred to me that another band would repost a review of ours before Duran Duran ever did. Then again, it never occurred to me that any band would acknowledge our work because I’ve been trained to expect far, far less in the 4.5 years I’ve been blogging, not to mention the decades of being a Duran Duran fan prior. It has always been our choice to write. It has always been our choice to support – we chose to do this completely on our own, without being encouraged or forced to continue. But isn’t that also the point?

I suppose it’s vaguely similar to the surprise of having one’s photo taken with the President of the United States before ever having one with Duran Duran.

I’m thrilled that Spandau Ballet thought enough to repost my review as a Duran Duran fan of their show. Of course it was a glowing review they deserved, and of course that in turn helped their cause – which is to create interest and ultimately ticket sales. The thing is, it helps OUR interest too. We are always happy to expand our reading audience and support fantastic bands that are appreciative in the process, which is something we plan to do more often. Daily Duranie is about curating and cultivating symbiotic or even cyclical relationships between bands and their fans.

Food for thought.

-R

Duran Duran Fans: Skeptics?

Some may have noticed I was late with the date in history for yesterday. At this point, it might just be safer for mankind if they wrap my house in orange biohazard plastic and call it a day. I used to say that there is nothing worse than having two kids get the stomach flu at the same time. I was wrong. THREE kids with stomach flu is in fact worse. Most of us have moved on to sore throats, coughing and all of that fun now, so I’m back to blogging.

I try to comment and make sense of things I see being said around the Duran Duran fan community. I suspect the band doesn’t bother reading or cares much about what is being said these days, and perhaps the same goes for management. I just believe that our voices deserve the right to be seen and heard.

I used to see many shout-outs of 2015 being the band’s year (and prior to that – 2014!) Lately, I see a whole lot more of “Maybe mid 2015…or beginning 2016, but it could be a lot longer” than I do anything else. Not many Duran Duran fans believe that the band will tour this year, and still fewer believe that the album will actually come out during the summer. Yes, I know what the band has said. The band has done it’s job incredibly well over the past few years – letting Duran Duran fans know at each turn that they’re in no hurry to finish the album, that they aren’t necessarily ready to get back on the road, and that we fans should just get used to it.  Duran Duran fans have lived through the band’s comments of not knowing when the album would be completed to “maybe late-2014”, to “early 2015” and most recently, “June at the earliest” and “definitely sometime in 2015”. Ambiguity reigns. We’re almost through to Autumn 2015 and it’s not even the end of January yet.

The one thing I’ve always known about Duran Duran fans – the vast majority, anyway – they are an incredibly optimistic lot. One might say their fandom LIES in their optimism. After all, this is a fan community that rallied for the fab five to reunite many years before it actually happened. Once that reunion was announced, it was believed that just about anything could happen with this band. This wasn’t just optimism…we all believed it. We LIVED it. Duran Duran fans were mostly undeterred by Andy’s eventual second departure, believing that the band was still very far from finished. Duran fans are positive, uplifting people – likely because they took that cue directly from the band.

At this point it’s clear that the Great Duran Duran Fan Optimism Train has made it’s way over the Great Hill and is now powering downhill straight into the Valley of Darkness. Some of the most positive people I know (and I’m not counting myself in that crowd) in the Duraniverse are openly and publicly questioning the year(s) to come – and I can’t really blame them. After all, they listen to the band  – whether that is through interviews, tweets, notes or news. They fear that even as the band says the words of excitement for this album, the emotion doesn’t quite match their voice. Even the most optimistic amongst us takes notice after a while.

It is 100% possible that Duran Duran fans have misread the band. Perhaps it isn’t a lack of interest, but exhaustion. Maybe not boredom, but instead the effects of spending entirely too long in the studio. Isn’t that still a problem? After all, it is not just the voices heard in Katy Kafes that fans question – it is the collective retreat from social media, lack of engagement with fans, news or updates from the studio (as opposed to prior albums we have heard precious little about this one, other than that big names they’ve had in the studio) and the lack of interest in giving album info on Katy Kafe that has led many to this point of skepticism.

In order to make fans believe in this project and shout about it from rooftops, the band has to first sell Duran Duran fans. I cannot help but recall the days before Red Carpet Massacre was released, as more and more often I am seeing direct parallels. The sense of skepticism in the community was palatable. In hindsight, I really believe the band was completely unaware of just how unsure Duran Duran fans were of the project. Instead of taking our connection to them as real and powerful – fans were mostly ignored. We didn’t matter in the long run because to the band, we were really just some sort of vague entity instead of real, live people that walked hand-in-hand alongside them. They didn’t see us that way, and if the past few years are any firm example – they still don’t, which is unfortunate. The fan show at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City 2007 was some sort of partially tethered life-preserver thrown to the fan community. Some caught the life line and many others never did, forced to make their own way or drown. I dislike seeing similarities between the two projects, but they are out there.

I would like to believe this next album to be different. After all, it is far easier to see the overall “state of the fan base” these days. Between Facebook and Twitter, not to mention this blog, it’s fairly simple to get an idea, if one cares to pay attention. That of course, is key: you’ve got to pay attention in order to see what is in-between the lines. Some Duran Duran fans will never be deterred because for them, the band IS their life preserver. Many others will simply move on, because life does not stop. Even personally, I have to force myself to make the time to stay present in this fandom. I make the time, because otherwise, it would be simple to fade away.

This is not 1984. Duran Duran fans don’t automatically believe and worship every thing they say…and if the current prevailing attitude and skepticism over what the band is really going to do in 2015 doesn’t prove that, nothing will.

-R

 

 

Have You Heard DD14?!?

DD14 is coming.  Someday.  Maybe soon. Maybe not.

Today is Monday and I thought I’d begin the week with a little commentary on something I saw on Facebook this morning.  Apparently someone in the Krassner-Hughes household (that’d be Katy’s house if you’re already clueless) has heard #DD14.  Now I’m not sure if that person was Katy or Tanner…or even Brian for that matter, but someone heard it, and someone must have liked it because there is now a hash tag of #SOworththewait on Twitter.  And Facebook.

Naturally, this tidbit sent a small percentage of the masses nearly over the edge of Monday.  In my own case, my comment about hearing DD14 was not that I was surprised she…or someone in that house had heard it, but that it was about time. And it is, in my not-at-all-humble-opinion.  Still others though ranged from humorously jealous (can’t blame ’em really) to the particularly interesting comment, “That is not right. You should have waited like the rest of us.”

When I read through the comments and replies, at first I thought that person was joking and went on my way.  After all, I figure that Katy works for the band. Why wouldn’t she hear DD14 in advance? I made my own comment as I mentioned above, and then wondered if Katy even reads the comments. Probably not…but that’s never stopped me before. Not long after I’d posted, the person came back and reiterated that she just felt Katy should have had to wait to hear the finished product.  Like the rest of us.

In my head, Katy isn’t “like the rest of us”. She is not a fan, whether you like her, hate her, or are reading this and have no idea of whom I’m writing. She works for the band (along with quite a few other artists!). She does PR and she deals with fans – it is her work that keeps US talking about THEM. She’s also known the band for many years now, and unlike the rest of us – her relationship with them is very much factual and real. Whereas my “relationship” with the band is one where I’ve listened to their music, watched their videos, followed their interviews and written this blog for many years now, and gotten a few grins and perhaps a wink or two from the stage….I don’t think she has their posters hanging in her closet, and I don’t think she has to fantasize about what it might be like to interview Nick Rhodes, because she’s already done it. Many. Times. Over. So, with that in mind, I’m going to give her my blessing on hearing DD14 and then teasing the HELL out of us about it, because that’s her job. In fact, I applaud her, because after having written this blog now for more than a few years, I’ve discovered that working with my own kind – fans – can be very rewarding. It can also very much feel like you’re continuously slamming your head onto a wood table, then passing out, coming to, and doing it again. Every. Single. Day.  But then, that might just be me!

So I ask – is it fair that Katy heard DD14 before the general public? I’m curious to read your comments and opinions on this one!

-R

 

 

 

Duran Duran History – Orlando

Today’s Duran Duran history takes us to Orlando, Florida. On this date in 1997, Duran Duran played Pleasure Island inside of Walt Disney World.  That’s right…you too could been present for this show donning not only a Duran Duran shirt, but Mickey ears to boot. I know there’s more than one Disney AND Duran fan out there…

This date was included on the Ultra Chrome Latex and Steel tour.

Here is a video of Electric Barbarella live…not quite from this date, but you know, it’s Thanksgiving in the US. Not all of us watch football or the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, you know.

Happy Thanksgiving!

-R