Tag Archives: Duran Duran fans

Like A Hypnotic

Hey, everybody. Welcome to…Wednesday. This is Wednesday, right??

If you’re following along with our Daily Challenges, today’s is your favorite DD video. It has been fun seeing what people post! My own favorite DD video, for today, is Rio. Truth be told, there are a lot of DD videos I enjoy, but the one I tend to always come back to – chances are, it’s because it was one of the first I watched – is Rio. Whenever I think about Duran Duran, MTV and videos, Rio comes to mind, and specifically, the scene I think about most – for some odd reason – is when Simon is underwater and drinks that brightly colored neon pink cocktail. I have no idea why, only that I always think about that scene first. Silly, right?!

I do have a confession though, and that’s when I reposted this challenge yesterday, I quickly scrolled through the list of challenges and didn’t even bother updating them. I was in a hurry, and knew I’d have to schedule a bunch of tweets and Facebook posts to make the whole thing work for everyone, so I just copied, pasted and was done with it. In hindsight, as I was scheduling tweets, I realized that I could have easily revamped and reframed some of these questions to breathe a bit more life into them for 2020. Anyway, as I read over the list of challenges, I started thinking about their videos. If I had to come up with a short list of things that seem to pop up in Duran Duran videos again and again, I’d probably say things like: exotic locations, the band (duh), models, and storyboards (meaning video plots). I’m sure many of you could come up with other things, but those are the three things I notice right off the bat.

Out of those things, I come back to models. Why is it that Duran Duran used models so many times in their videos? It feels so overdone. Yet, here we are. Even Falling Down and Girl Panic used models. I suppose I partially expect them in any Duran Duran video these days, and I’m pleasantly surprised when they’re not included.

Amanda and I have written about the models in their videos before. We’ve touched on the subjects of sexism, and whether or not videos like Girls on Film infringe upon that boundary, or address the exploitation by the modeling industry. I know that many fans have their own opinions as well.

When I was a kid, especially in middle school, but even beyond into high school – I didn’t have a very high opinion of myself. I was a late bloomer when it came to boys, and part of that was because I just didn’t think I was worthy. Even now, when I see photos of myself from that time period from 6th to about 8th grade, I cringe. High school wasn’t a lot better, but I’ll give myself a little credit there, at least. I had frizzy, wavy hair that I had layered (badly), and it gave my entire head a sort of Q-tip type appeal. I had no idea how to dress, how to act, or how to do that thing the other girls did when boys paid attention to them and they acted dumb in response. I can remember proudly announcing to my friends that if that was how I needed to act in order to get a boyfriend, I didn’t need one.

That is when Duran Duran entered the picture. In 6th grade, when other girls my age were throwing themselves at any boy that would pay attention long enough to ask her to “go around”, (in my day that meant walking around campus holding hands, although I don’t remember PDA beyond that being discouraged, either), I found a favorite band. Posters to hang on walls. I could disappear into the fantasy world in my head where I could be myself and never be rejected. Duran Duran were my “boyfriends” before any boy knew I existed, outside of being that weird girl in class. It was WAY safer than dealing with actual, real-life boys.

That was all fine and good until videos came along (so basically, it wasn’t long before my dreams were crushed). In the videos, as we all know, there were models. From Rio and Hungry Like the Wolf, to Girls on Film, The Chauffeur, and so on. Sure, I fawned over Roger, Nick, Simon and John. (no, I didn’t fawn over Andy. I just loved his guitar playing.) It was just very hard not to notice the girls. The women, I should say. I would sit and watch those videos, and somehow, I gleaned the message of “You’re not worthy”. The only women this band (or any band for that matter) would ever be interested in, would be supermodels or similar. l was never one of those teens that thought the women were being exploited. I didn’t think of Duran Duran as misogynists or sexist. Instead, I saw that they were attracted to women who were thin, beautiful and perfect, and I was, well, not any of the above.

At the time, seeing any of them date models, and of course Simon marrying one, did absolutely nothing to squash the feeling I had in my belly. People like me did not end up with men of their dreams. They settled for what they could get. Rockstars were ABLE to date models. Models were practically expected to date, and marry, rockstars. Girls like me were lucky to be paid attention. I was average, and maybe a bit below that given that I was a clarinet player in my high school marching band and a good student. Smart? Sure. Beautiful? Don’t make me laugh. On any given day I would think about the women in Duran Duran videos, and know that I was pretty much the polar opposite in every way.

As an adult, I think I still struggle with the same messaging. Let’s be honest, everywhere we – then teenage girls – looked in the 80s, there were leather mini-skirt clad girls, rolling around on cars or models of perfection in every single music video around. I don’t think I ever said the words “I’m nothing like them” to my friends back in the day—we didn’t discuss such things—but I know I felt them. I said the words to myself all the time. We grew up with the images of what we were supposed to aspire to look like all around us. I don’t think I ever got past it. It isn’t entirely a surprise when I still feel less-than. I think the difference now, is that I feel that way even with fellow fans.

I’ll be fine at a show, and I might even feel good about myself. But then, I’ll see something that immediately drags me back to how I felt in front of the television the first time I saw Hungry Like the Wolf. Maybe I’ll see the high-heeled glamour girls running after a band member who immediately turns and gives them his undivided attention for a photo. They giggle with glee and pose flirtatiously. I might try to tell myself that the women are trying too hard, or that they are “so sad” for chasing after the band member, but the TRUTH is—I immediately put myself back in the box marked “Not good enough”, and that’s without a single person saying a word to me. I inevitably want the floor to swallow me whole, because I know I don’t fit in. I don’t approach band members because, unlike posters on my wall, the guy in front of me is real, and the last thing I want is to be rejected. (and trust me, these days I’m not asking for anything more than a “hello!”) The fantasy is safer. I don’t have to worry about not being a model, or not being perfect.

I don’t actually blame Duran Duran here, although it likely seems that way. I just wanted to write about how messaging affected a woman – then a teenager – like me. They didn’t do anything different from anyone else back then, though. It just happens that the messaging from this band affected me most. I still adore them though, and quite frankly – I married the right guy anyway. Duran Duran, videos, and models go together. I never quite got why it was so important for them to prove—to a predominantly female audience—that they were worthy of the attention of females. We kind of already knew that, didn’t we? I mean…didn’t we?? I’ve had male fans say “Well, they were men. Of course they wanted models in their videos!” Yes, that does make sense. Except, that back in the 80s, it wasn’t men or even boys watching most of the time. It was girls, like me. Some of us not only watched Simon, John, Nick and Simon, but also paid attention to what was being communicated, too.

-R

Come On Boy, Let’s Change the Pace

I don’t think Amanda or I commented on John Taylor’s chat day on Twitter. Did we?? Friday feels like it happened a month ago.

In opening, I want to express how much I looked forward to, and appreciated, the Friday chats. Sure, they were chaotic, and at 30 minutes (give or take), they were a small fraction of the time I’ve had suddenly made available to me lately. Even so, they mattered. Yes, I joked about some of the questions and general hilarity that ensued – Twitter feeds can still move lightning fast when needed – but I still enjoyed the process. No, I didn’t have a single question answered, but for me, that wasn’t the point.

I think that my entertainment came two-fold. First, I like seeing fans interact, whether with one another or with band members. Sure, there were a lot of questions like, “Simon, will you be my quarantine partner?” or “Will you tour in my town <fill in the blank here with your town name> this time?” There was also a lot of joy. Seeing people commune on Twitter again, talking about something else other than politics or strife, was refreshing.

Second, I loved hearing from the band members. There’s something reassuring when you read tweets from them acknowledging the current state of the world. Seeing that they were right smack in the middle of getting the album done and just having time sort of come to an abrupt halt felt very familiar. I did feel as though there was more Q&A to it all than chatting though, which, given the traffic on Twitter, was understandable.

However, John was able to make it just a little more personal with one simple tweet that was both an answer to a question, as well as an inquiry of his own. He wanted to know what WE were doing to pass the time.

Not everyone answered, but many did, including me. I was only too happy to share news of learning to crochet and knit, raising a new flock of baby chicks, and building raised garden beds. Amanda wrote about getting back to teaching, and many others shared their own creative sojourns. It was nice.

The thing is, and it’s what I’ve always said about this band – it’s not really just about the hand-to-mouth (or ears) process of the band making music and the fans and listeners being the consumers – that keeps me coming back. It is rare, but there are sometimes these teeny-tiny shining moments when I feel like the band sees US. Not just as dollar signs with legs, but as real, genuine people who just happen to be fans. When John asked that question on Friday, it felt that way. I can’t even be sure that he read my tweet…or anyone’s for that matter, but it felt like a conversation, less like watching a hockey goalie (or footie goalie!) standing in the net taking shots.

Don’t get me wrong, I did those moments are rare. They really are! One can’t go around expecting that sort of thing very often. Expectations being future resentments and all…. Sheer numbers and math tell me that it’s just not possible to connect on a personal sort of level with every single fan. I just appreciate when it works out that way, even if it’s just for a second.

Someone asked me if that was the last chat DD was going to do, since we’re all still sort of quarantined and all. I responded saying I didn’t know. Back when DDHQ announced the Twitter chats, I doubt anyone knew how long this all would go on. I’m not sure if we have any better of an idea now! I would just encourage the band that, if they saw fit – to try different things. Instagram is a fun platform to do something “live” where you answer questions, and fans can see them in real time. Not sure if the band is feeling their best or is “stage” ready (goodness knows I’m definitely not these days!), but it’s an option. Even posting a YouTube video might be fun…and they don’t even have to give album scoops! They could just pick a subject and talk about it for five minutes or whatever. Just a thought. I just know the chats have been a highlight of some dreary weeks for me, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

Hope everyone is doing well out there. Wash your hands and get some fresh air if you can. I find getting air really helps me with coping. It’s beginning to warm up into the 70s with regularity now up here along the Central Coast. I have eight chicks that are now approaching the age where I can move them to an outdoor brooder, although not in with the big girls (chickens are brutal and they’ll kill the little ones)

-R

If I Listen Close

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Duran Duran is answering calls from the fans to do more online video parties! Today – yes, this very afternoon/evening – Duran Duran is hosting another video party. This time on their Facebook page, we’ll have the opportunity to watch videos (no requests, please!) and chat amongst ourselves. I’m a little fuzzy on how they’re working the videos – but I’m up for any sort of diversion these days! Hopefully, this will give everyone a chance to smile, and maybe even put stress aside for an hour or two.

If that’s not quite enough, don’t forget our own DJ Velvet Rebel and The Music Between Us Livestream happening on Friday, 1pm PDT/9pm GMT. I know it is Good Friday, and that may not work out for everyone. I have a feeling there may be more of these as time goes on, so don’t worry. I am going to make a point to check in for sure!

I’m cutting this blog short today for a number of reasons, not the least of which being that tomorrow is a special day. Believe it or not, my husband and I were married on April 8, 2005, which means that tomorrow is our 25th anniversary. Yes, it really IS a miracle we’ve lasted that long.

The good news is that my kids are all here to celebrate with us (which is not by design or planning), and the bad news is…well…I think it’s pretty damn apropos that it’s happening during a pandemic. I mean, come on!! I do have to laugh. Two weeks ago or so, right as everything was being shut down, or maybe right after, I can’t remember now – Walt told me he had originally planned for us to go on a trip. My husband doesn’t plan. Definitely not a vacation or trip, or pretty much anything. Ever. (unless its a work meeting, of course!). So naturally, of course there’s a pandemic. Yes, I realize it could always be something worse. I’m choosing not to think about that.

So, instead of packing for a trip, I’m finishing up a handmade card and figuring out a menu for tomorrow. Cooking is last on my list of favorites, but in this situation, it’s the best option.

While I’m at it, shout-out to Jason, who is ALSO celebrating a special day tomorrow. It’s his birthday!!! Happy Birthday Jason!!

-R

DD Chat with Roger

Today, Roger took 30 minutes to answer as many questions as he could on Twitter. I counted (yes, I really did), and there were over 500 questions submitted from 3:30 UK time on, and out of those, he replied to 22.

Even more difficult to follow than last week, many found that they were unable to really find all of Roger’s replies. So, I took screenshots and will put them here. I think I missed one or two that were just shout-outs, but the good content is here. Enjoy!! (They are not in order – I’m good, but not THAT good!) -R

Daily Duranie Zoom Meetup!

During a time when video meetings are quickly becoming the norm, Daily Duranie has jumped on board the train! As we brainstormed of ways to try and connect with other fans, even while concerts and tours are being cancelled. We thought about how we could incorporate videos and chat together in one single place.

Previously, we’d have these video parties by putting together a YouTube playlist, then chatting on Twitter, making sure to use a hashtag so that others could follow along. It wasn’t easy, particularly if you only had use of a single screen. We found that we could either watch the videos OR chat, unless we had a phone and a laptop or some other combination of screens.

Suddenly, it hit us that maybe we could use Zoom, particularly now while it is free for people to try it out. So, we are going to set up a meeting on Zoom for next Sunday 3/29. The party is scheduled to begin around 11:30 am PST so that way perhaps we can reach at least some people around the globe (we’ll start the meet up by explaining how to use Zoom for video viewing), and we’ll go from there. Our plan is to have a 3-4 hour video party, same rules as always – participate, have fun, and if you’re so inclined – have a cocktail or two! We’re trying to give everyone notice so that if you do not already have Zoom on your laptop, you can get it downloaded. Once we have the meeting details (there’s an ID number and password for each meeting), we will post those details on our FB event page that is going up this afternoon.

Hope to see many of you on Sunday – what better way to spend time than with Duran Duran and friends?!?

– A & R

Look out of the Window

Is anybody bored yet? To be fair, I’ve had quite a bit to do here at home. Cooking and cleaning for the family proves to take up quite a bit of my day. I can’t say I’m all that domesticated, but you know – I really have no other alternative at the moment. Woe is certainly not me when I look around and see that I have it far better than most.

Even so, boredom is a thing. I mean, one can only disinfect so many times, right?? I have learned to crochet – the one thing I can truly say that most females on my mom’s side of the family kind of passes down from generation to generation. Up until now, I’ve been incredibly resistant. But this year, I decided I wanted to learn how to both crochet and knit before I turn 50. Let’s just say I’m “practicing”, and leave it at that for now.

I also had kind of a spur of the moment meeting of sorts with Amanda yesterday. It was the highlight of my week, although at the time we were working the kinks out of an idea we’re putting together for next weekend!

Collectively, a few of us have ideas of things to do to help console one another through this unusual period of time, and also help others at the same time. While I won’t give away details and steal his thunder, be on the lookout for an announcement from Jason (VelvetRebel) – he has a great idea to keep you singing and dancing. In addition, Amanda and I are working on another Daily Duranie video party to take place next Sunday.

How can you be filled with doom and gloom while watching Duran Duran videos, interviews and other assorted gems, all while chatting with other DD fans? Our hope was to find a site that would allow us to watch videos and chat all in the same window – that way we wouldn’t have to mess with Twitter or use a hashtag to keep everything tracked and organized. We tested Zoom yesterday, and it seems like that’s going to work well for our purposes. If you’re interested in participating, you should go ahead and look into downloading the program/app now so you’re ready. We’re hoping to do the party in the middle of the day California-time, that way perhaps getting some people from other parts of the globe involved too. Be on the lookout for details as the week rolls on!

Along with all of that, of course – is Duran Duran. If you were online last Friday, perhaps you were treated to the sights of Simon attempting to answer questions from fans at rapid fire pace for about 30 minutes. It was amusing to watch just how quickly Twitter can go!! The questions ran the gamut from suggesting a good cocktail for pandemic lockdown (admittedly that was from me and no it did not get answered) to requests for Simon to be someone’s lockdown buddy. (no comments needed from me…or Simon, as it turns out!) All joking aside, there were also questions about his favorite B-side. (after a few other mentions, he settled on Secret Oktober, which of course as far as I’m concerned – is the correct answer!) The one thing that struck me, was how quickly Twitter devolved from being more of a running conversation right back to a firing line of questions and even demands from fans. When the band is online, it’s a tough situation. One of them, thousands of us – you can see the problem. I wish there was a better way.

Meanwhile, I have baby chicks to raise, and a couple of banners to photoshop – so I’m off! Remember to be on the lookout for fun fan things to do online this week! Stay safe, wash your hands, and keep the space!!

-R

We’ve Come This Far

Hi everyone! I need to thank Jason profusely for his expert handling of my blogging days during my absence. He did an outstanding job, and I am very grateful. Have fun in Chicago with the Cowboy Junkies, Jason!

It’ll be alright in the end

I wish I could say my life is all back to normal now, but it certainly does not feel that way. I don’t have much of an update except that my sister and I are working through the timeline of what occurred and when, along with figuring out what to do next so that we can help my mom. I guess it is sort of a new normal that I wasn’t quite prepared to manage. Naturally, my body responded to the stress, as I knew it would, by coming down sick. I had no voice at all yesterday, which was fun for my family.

It could be just my mood responding to everything around me, but nothing feels quite right at the moment. As I’m sure most know, Duran Duran announced two more Vegas shows yesterday. I knew immediately that I would not be going, so I didn’t stop to even entertain the thought for a single moment. The weird thing is that I saw very few others talk about it much beyond scoffing at the idea that the band would play the same venue, in the same US city, for what will be the seventh and eighth times.

Despite my understanding that the band doesn’t choose where they play – meaning that a promoter typically comes to management with a proposal to play certain cities and venues that s/he works with, and then management has to decide if the terms of the proposal meets their needs – it has become incredibly clear that most fans don’t understand at all. They’re angry, and rightfully so, that the band continues to play the US – never mind the same venue and city. I don’t know if Simon, John, Roger and Nick are even aware of how angry fans are at this point, but they should be – and maybe they don’t care, but it’s worse than I’ve ever seen it. I saw a post from Katy on Facebook and commented that it was nice to see the band getting out there only to be told that they’d only be getting out there if they were playing in other places besides the US.

Brings you down

Duran Duran is playing shows this summer. They’re not just doing the two gigs in Vegas, but also festivals in the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland and Portugal. I highly doubt that is all they’ve got planned for the long haul, but at this time – it’s what I know. What is bizarre to me though, is how rarely I see fans talking about what shows they’re going to see. Even this morning, I sat down to see how the twitterverse did with the Ticketmaster Vegas presale. The program I use for Twitter allows me to watch several different accounts (both the tweets from the account as well as @ the account) at one time. I have it set up to see what is being tweeted to Duran Duran – and interestingly enough, for the first time I can remember, I didn’t see a single tweet about the pre-sales. Either no one is going, or no one is talking about it. Either way, that can’t be good.

When Amanda and I first started Daily Duranie, I couldn’t spend enough time on Twitter. The columns moved so fast, and if we dared say that we were going to a show or participating in a pre-sale, it seemed like comments came out of the woodwork, but no longer. These days, I’m far more apt to see retweets from followers about politics, than I am to see comments about the latest Duran Duran news. In a lot of ways, it is worrisome, but understandable. Times have changed.

Nobody knows

A few years ago, fans seemed to be gearing up for a 40th anniversary. Expectations were undoubtedly set incredibly high for something that has honestly gotten nary a mention from the fab five. Sure, they’ve talked about it a little, and there was even some mention of things they might like to do, but let’s face it fans, it’s already March of 2020. There’s probably not likely to be a spring release for this album, which isn’t a surprise – first of all, most of us have been around this block with Duran Duran before. We know Durantime rather well now. Secondly, the band was already starting to back away from their hopes of a spring release during some of the more recent Katy Kafes. Statements that were once fairly positive were more of a subtle, “We’re not sure about spring”. Patience is indeed a virtue!

I’ve heard mumblings of a possible show in honor of Simon’s first gig with the band, and a few “special” releases of material that will likely cost more than most can readily and easily afford, but little detail beyond. I can distinctly recall a certain group of fans claiming to have the ear of a manager, going as far as to amass a short list of items that fans might like to be done in order to celebrate. One has to wonder what ever happened.

At one time, I would notice times like these, where Duran Duran talk had slowed online and think “Well, it’ll pick back up once the new album is released”, and I think it will this time too…but at the same time it just feels different. Could absolutely just be me, but it could also be that many of us are no longer in our early or even mid-40s. Now we’re in our 50s or getting darn close to it, along with grown children, elderly parents, the cusp of retirement or at least thinking that it’s headed down the line, or we’re just tired!! Standing in GA for hours on end, dealing with Ticketmaster, or the attitudes, comments, annoyances, etc of other fans. These are indeed strange days. I never thought about fandom in my fifties, and for me – that doesn’t come until November, but even peering at it occasionally from this point seems offbeat at best!

Would seem lonely

Then there’s me. I’m not going to Las Vegas. I keep having to say the words to myself, or shout them to other people when not even asked – which I realize may get me shut into a padded room for while but maybe that would give me some peace anyway- just to remind myself that it’s true. I’m not going. I didn’t buy tickets for the pre-sale today. I didn’t even chat with Amanda about it. I just knew there was no way I was going. Even though I’ve gone through the motions of being told of shows within mere hours of pre-sales before, this time, it ticked me off. I have things to do, and to have all of that feel shoved aside in order to deal with DD ticket drama simply was not going to happen. I just said no. I thought about a lot of the bad taste I had left in my mouth after the last Vegas trip. The drama, the crazy comments about meet-ups, the travel stress, and the fact that I am sick of Vegas just made me say no. It is weird, I can’t swear that I won’t regret it on April 30th…or even March 5th (yes, that’s tomorrow)…but I didn’t get tickets today. So that’s not normal.

Maybe I’m alone here, but things just feel weird. Is it just that odd “no mans land” in-between period between albums, or is it something else?

-R

What Planet is this?

There’s no sign of life

It is a special sort of hell when Tuesday feels like a Monday. On one hand, I love having a 3-day weekend. My daughter was off from school yesterday, so we went to the movies and had a mom/daughter dinner together. Loved every second of that. Then this morning happened. It wasn’t any one horrendous thing, just a bunch of stupid little things. My husband is working in Santa Barbara all week so he was up early, which in turn woke me up way early (never a good thing, I might add). I go to get out of bed and immediately realize that somehow, I’ve managed to injure myself….while sleeping. Truthfully, I think it’s probably just arthritis in my knee and ankle. Regardless, it’s still dumb! Then, as I’m sitting in my car at 7:59am, a good 15 minutes later than acceptable, my daughter finally got herself out of the house. She was very late – so late that I am pretty certain I broke traffic laws getting her to school before the first bell rang. It was one of the Monday-est Tuesday mornings I’ve had in a while.

You’ll see I’m right some other time

Lately, I’ve been reading Rock Music in American Culture: The Sounds of Revolution by Robert G. Pielke. Amanda sent it to me for Christmas. I wanted a book that covered the social history of music in America, and this definitely fits the bill. It was exciting to see that not only did the book cover the beginnings of rock and roll in the 50’s, but it continues through the 80s and to nearly present-day.The author took the time to explain not only what was happening in music during each year covered, but also explained what was happening to affect our American culture. Not focusing solely on politics or historical points – but also covering popular culture, and then using those points paired with music to describe how cultural revolution took place.

I was thrilled that the 1980s were discussed at length. Granted, I’ve read more than my share of books about that period of time, but never something that really covered the social and cultural change. I was anxious to see how the author would describe New Wave and it’s influence on our culture – how that music, along with music video, pushed the envelope of conservative values and forced us to make change.

My head is stuck on something precious

More specifically, I was looking forward to seeing how bands like Duran Duran were commemorated or mentioned. Throughout the book, the author took the time to explore not just American bands, but the British Invasion(s), and covered a plethora of artists along the way. Granted I lived the 80s, but I like reading someone else’s point of view. I was very young at the time, and I’m sure my memory doesn’t do the time enough justice. As Amanda and I will continue to work on a writing project for several weeks this summer, I knew this book would be a great resource.

A number of bands of that period were mentioned, but not Duran Duran. Not only were they not included in the discussion, but the words “New Wave” are only found once in the book – as they describe each day of the US Festival in 1983. At first I was shocked, then sad, settling into disappointment. I just don’t know why a book would make mention of the Dead Kennedys not just once but four times, write at length about Boy George and Culture Club, but not bother to mention Duran Duran—even in conjunction with the rise of MTV. I mean, come on. That’s not a tough connection to make!

Granted, Duran Duran is not from America. Then again, neither are The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Culture Club, The Clash or Freddy Mercury. So what is it?

Look now, look all around

The focus of this book was social and cultural change. The author worked to show that the change occurred not just in historical points, but mirrored in the music of the time – focusing on items that demonstrated the largest waves. To him, MTV was merely a ripple, while Boy George made us all rethink our gender roles. Ozzy Osbourne was mentioned due to a claim that his music induced suicide (the lawsuit was later dismissed). Duran Duran? New Wave? Apparently, according to this author – they did nothing.

There were chapters discussing gender roles, racial disparity, religion (Sinead O’Connor tearing up the photo of Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live) and even pop culture characters such as Murphy Brown, but nothing about music videos and their effects on an entire generation. He couldn’t find one single thing to mention about one of the biggest band’s in the world in the 1980’s. Fascinating.

Granted, I am biased. There’s no arguing otherwise, and I wouldn’t waste my time trying. I guess for me though, it comes down to a simple fact: I don’t think we can accurately discuss or do justice to the 1980’s when we are communicating about music without mentioning New Wave, MTV and Duran Duran. Those three items changed everything going forward. I’ve yet to find a scholarly book that covering the 1980s that thoroughly explains their influence. This both frustrates, and intrigues me.

Is there anybody out there

On one hand, I wonder if I give the band far more credit than they deserve. To be fair, they were my biggest influence, and I remember them being the biggest band in the world at the time. I couldn’t go anywhere without seeing a magazine, a poster in a record shop window, or even t-shirts at the mall. There was never a question of IF a Duran Duran video would play on MTV – it was a matter of how long between each one. That said, maybe it wasn’t really like that for others during that same period of time. In my 1983 junior high yearbook, they were the most mentioned favorite band of the graduating class! I can’t imagine those kids were wrong….

Over the years, Amanda and I have shopped book ideas to publishers. Invariably, proposals have been turned down because of the topic at hand. Sure, we could self-publish, (and when we are ready, we just might!) but it confounds me as to how books on every band from Ratt and Poison, to Elvis Costello and yes, even the Dead Kennedys, can find publishing deals, but not Duran Duran. I don’t get it. Somehow, I’m expected to believe that a book on Elvis Costello has the potential for a larger audience than Duran Duran? What planet am I on???

I am brought back to something a friend has said from time to time – Duran Duran are underdogs. It is what has kept them going. If their continued longevity had been easy, they’d have quit long ago. Maybe so. I don’t think a little respect would kill anybody though.

-R

Fight it, or Invite It

Honesty

Yesterday morning, I received a text from Jason, letting me know that he’d posted the blog. (check it out here if you haven’t yet!) Somewhat cryptically, he mentioned that he hoped it wasn’t too rough. The guest blogger he’d worked with was open and candid with regard to her feelings about the videos they’d reviewed. He wanted an honest reaction, and judging by what I read, I believe he received just that.

I replied saying although I hadn’t yet read the piece, I wasn’t concerned. Following up, I told him that I valued honesty, and looked forward to reading it in a few minutes.

After making the drive to school, I pulled into a parking spot and grabbed my phone. He’d sparked my curiosity, and I found that I didn’t want to wait until I got home. As I read both his parts and those of his guest, I chuckled in more than one spot. I found Aurora Montgomery’s comments to be refreshingly genuine. She delivered them with a humorous approach that I aspire to incorporate into my own writing.

One particular sentence about “Electric Barbarella” made me cackle. “This robot woman exists and dresses solely for them, and from the beginning it was my sincere hope that she would end up murdering the band before the video’s close.” Brutal honesty. I like it.

Cuteness and condescension

Over the years, my writing and open opinion have taken a bit of a roller coaster effect. From love letter to brutally cynical, gushingly cute to overly critical, I don’t know if I’ve ever stumbled upon the magic formula for writing. It is difficult to compose a fan blog each day knowing in the back of your mind that many will never take you seriously. I’ve gone from being embraced to shunned in just a few keystrokes. Consistently though, I’ve remained honest.

When we invite guests to share their opinions, we accept that not everyone is on the same page. In the case of Aurora Montgomery, she’s not even a Duran Duran fan. Instead, she is a respected professional. I don’t think it has to be a given that a critic dislikes everything Duran Duran has done. However, I respect that her point of view will be vastly different (and unbiased) from my own.

Remaining unbiased is difficult. There is no denying that someone like me, a (nearly) lifelong fan of Duran Duran, is going to have a certain amount of emotion leading my opinions. The idea that somehow, on a blog named Daily Duranie, we would be unbiased is laughable. Fellow fans have commented saying that our blog is cute, following up by saying we’re so biased and fan-girly. All of the above delivered with just a bit too much all-knowing condescension to be kind.

Emotion is a complication

I tend to react by grimacing, knowing that there’s little I can do to change the perception. It’s irritating. On one hand, if I didn’t have any emotion for Duran Duran, why on earth would I write every day about them? On the other, I stopped being “cute” in about 1982. I realize blogging about Duran Duran isn’t changing the world. It isn’t going to solve the climate crisis, or find the cure for cancer. It is about music. Each of us who dedicate the time and energy to write here are fans.

Emotion is a complication. For me, it’s a constant struggle to find the sweet spot between having fun, acknowledging my fandom, while still exercising some critical thinking in the process. I love Duran Duran, but I don’t love everything they’ve done. That’s not likely to change, and that’s okay!

You want real?

I don’t live every second of my life worshipping the sand that Rio danced on. I still believe that Red Carpet Massacre was a half-hearted attempt to stay in the good graces of a label and remain relevant. That doesn’t mean I don’t love Rio. I’ve found several songs on Red Carpet Massacre to enjoy.

Paper Gods wasn’t an “instant like” for me. It took me months to come to terms with it. I did eventually bond with several songs, and there are more than a few lines of lyric on there that feel very much like they were written for me. Personally though, I think their best has yet to come, they’ve just got to find it. I hope they don’t give up before it gets written.

I was never a Warren fan, and and would like to slap the fans who grovel at his feet while he puts down Duran Duran whenever and however possible. It’s gross, and by the way—geniuses don’t typically need to go around reminding people that they are, in fact, genius. I still don’t like the fact that they don’t have a dedicated guitarist – even if that guitarist isn’t Dom. Do what you gotta do, but find someone who you’ll agree to having as a band member that has an actual relationship with you and your music. If pressed, I’d tell you that the one element they’ve been missing from their recorded music is a good, emotive, rock guitar that is the polar opposite of the synthesizer line. That goes across the board, from Seven and the Ragged Tiger through to Paper Gods. Bam. Those are my opinions, even if you don’t like ‘em. Real, and unapologetic. Yet, I’ll still be among the first to shout from the rooftops whenever Duran Duran needs. Go figure.

Emotion doesn’t make it unworthy

All of those opinions come with forty years of emotion, and ten years of blogging experience behind them. Does that make them any less worthy? Not to me, but please— you decide on your own. Even a music critic writes with emotion. Critics love music, even if they don’t love the album or even the band they’re reviewing at the time.

For the record, I think the video would have gone better with your suggested ending, Aurora. There’s some emotion for ya!

-R

It is About the Music

Time and time again, when it all boils down, the music brings us together. Each time I think I know this, it ends up being proven to me again. This time, with some of my neighbors.

During the year that we’ve lived in Atascadero, we have been meeting new people. Somewhat facetiously, I’ll mention how I can’t see my neighbors (mostly true), or that I don’t really even know the people who live across the road from us (well, we’ve waved at one another and I do know their names now…), but to be honest, Walt and I have hoped we’d meet some people we could eventually call good friends. Luckily, this happened not long after we’d moved in and were invited to a small neighborly barbecue on Memorial Day weekend. We hit it off with the brand new neighbors who were hosting. Occasionally we get together, which has been very nice.

Several months back, this couple joined a group of people who get together once a month for dinner. They take turns hosting, and essentially people come over on the first Friday night of the month with a bottle of wine and a dish to share. Everyone chats and eats, then typically by 9pm or so – everyone goes home. They invited us to try it out, and it was fun.

The thing is, most of the people who attend are at least 10-15 years older than my husband and I. Our neighbor friends are about our same age, but they have a drastically different lifestyle from my husband and I. They don’t have children, they live here only part-time, and they do quite a bit of international travel. I believe the last time I left the country was with Amanda when we crossed into Canada. They, along with my husband, work in the technology industry, so they share that. Otherwise, our main commonality is a love of wine, and of course being new to this area. At least, until I discovered something new last night.

After a weekend of digging holes to plant apple trees, I finally convinced Walt to go into town and have some wine at our favorite wine bar. He invited our neighbors along, and we were all in a jovial mood by the time we sat down at a small table. While we chatted, the subject of San Francisco came up, and somehow – one of them mentioned The Cat Club.

My ears perked up at this, because The Cat Club is probably one of my favorite places in the world. I have only been a couple of times, but the club is one of those places that immediately felt like home. The dark surroundings remind me so much of the club where I met Walt – Fashions on the Redondo Beach pier. That place closed a long time ago, sadly. Even now as I sit here typing, I can remember how the bench seating along the wall felt, or the way the highly lacquered and polished wood bar looked in the light when we’d order drinks. I spent many a Friday and Saturday night dancing to anything from The Cure to Gary Numan, Depeche Mode to Blondie, in that club.

The Cat Club, while much bigger than Fashions ever was, has that same inviting feeling. Actually, Amanda and I spent a couple of nights there when Duran Duran was playing in Oakland and San Francisco a few years back, and I’ve been clamoring to go back. We live a little closer these days, but we’ve yet to make the trip. In any case, the words “Cat Club” coming out of my friends mouth was enough for me to put down my wine glass and ask her to repeat herself. Once I realized what she said, my pavlovian reflexes kicked in. I enthusiastically responded that the Cat Club was the best dance club ever. I think maybe this was loudest I’ve ever been around them since we met!

Our two friends, immediately broke into huge grins, excitedly telling tales of their own visits to the club, and how they plan to return in mid-February for a night of dancing with other friends. They invited my husband and I along with them for the weekend, and without even looking at Walt, I was ready to commit. I couldn’t believe that these two people actually hung out at the same dance club I’d been to previously. It turns out that one of them fully committed to the whole New Wave thing when he lived in Germany while growing up, telling Walt and I all about how he had bleached the sides of his hair and the clothes he wore.

I couldn’t quite believe my luck. As much as we seem to have come from completely different backgrounds, our musical tastes are very similar. We talked about various groups we had seen live – and yes, they already know about my love for Duran Duran – and then moved on to comparing record collections. Suffice to say, I liked my neighbors well enough before, but now I know we have friends that will go with us to see concerts, too!

Music really does tend to bring people together. It’s the bridge and the gift that keeps on giving!

-R