Tag Archives: Duran Duran interviews

Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Wedding Album: Videos

This past week, DDHQ announced that they would be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the release of Duran’s seventh studio album, affectionately known as the Wedding Album.  This has led to countless posts throughout the week featuring various songs and videos from that album and era.  Rhonda dove into the song, Ordinary World, earlier this week that you can read about here.  I will take the time tomorrow to share my thoughts and memories of this album and time period.  Until then, I thought it might be fun to put together some essential video clips from this era in all one place.

The Wedding Album featured a number of singles and videos.  According to their wikipedia page, the singles from this album included:

  • Ordinary World
  • Come Undone
  • Drowning Man (Really???  Who knew?)
  • None of the Above
  • Too Much Information
  • Femme Fatale
  • Breath After Breath

Luckily for Duran Duran fans, a number of those had videos to accompany them!

On top of these official videos, the band also completed a ton of various promotional activities from interviews to other performances.  I could have spent my entire Saturday just watching all of the different clips from this era as there is so much out there.  That said, I did take some time to just pick out some of the ones I have enjoyed the most.

One particular performance that really stood out for me was their appearance on MTV’s Unplugged.  I was not sure that the band could really become acoustic and it turns out I questioned this for no reason.

Here is an interview from MTV’s Most Wanted with John and Simon that I have always enjoyed:

This interview is a long one!  It is almost twenty minutes long and features Simon and Nick.  I especially enjoy the discussion of the artwork and how it came to be, since it features their parents’ wedding photos.

Larry King also interviewed Simon and Nick.  What fascinates me is that the introduction focuses on how critics “laughed at them”.  Oh geez…Larry King made for an interesting interviewer.

Jay Leno was a little more hip…with his interview for the Tonight Show.  I appreciate the fans’ enthusiasm throughout the interview but especially after the intro!

Of course, one clip that I had to include was the House of Style hosted by Cindy Crawford (who, of course, later appears in Girl Panic) as she takes Simon and Nick shopping at Sears.

Duran’s performances from this era weren’t too bad either…Here is a personal favorite of mine.  See if you can guess why!

Here’s a full concert from Argentina in 1993:

I don’t know about the rest of you but watching some Duran videos is a pretty kick ass way to spend my Saturday.  On top of that, it gives me a chance to celebrate this album a little bit before I dive into my relationship with it!

-A

I’m Making a Break

Today is one of those days.  It is a day in which I just find myself sitting in my living room, unable to write anything on a blog post.  This does not happen to me much.  I always have something to write about, right?  In fact, I have a list of blog topics that I keep around.  I have been doing a lot of reading surrounding female fandom lately, which is bringing up a ton of topics to write about.  Yet, none of the topics on my list are motivating me right now.  I’m just not in a mood to think that much.  Call me exhausted and needing a break, I guess.

What am I going to do with blog then?  I’m not sure.  I thought I might do a little YouTube cruising and see if any Duran clips catch my attention.  Perhaps, I find some ones that I haven’t seen before that I can share with all of you.

I started out by checking out the videos “recommended” to me!  Sure enough, right away, I saw this clip, one I had never seen before:

This clip made me laugh!  As you see here, Simon and John certainly were laughing during this interview.  John tells a story about his dad pointing out that he is “thinking a lot more now” and Simon addresses the sexual nature of the song, “Big Thing.”  The interviewer says that parents must be super concerned about this “rougher” Duran Duran.  My reaction.  Huh?  The album, Big Thing, was rough?  Bad boy like?  Really?  Of course, the interviewer’s concern about parents says to me that she is making a big assumption that the band’s fans are all kids.  Now, I was a kid still in 1988 but a lot of Duranies were grown people.  Annoying.

Then, I found this gem:

First of all, they are babies.  Babies.  So young.  What is interesting to me is the focus, still, on their looks over the music.  People, even then, seemed to think that all they (and/or their fans) cared about were the band’s looks.  Beyond that, I was entertained by the kids and all of the various things they were doing behind John and Simon’s backs.  I wonder what those kids thought of themselves years later.  Funny watch!

Here is another 1981 clip:

Here’s what I really want to know.  Perhaps, someone from the UK can explain all of the shows with little kids present with rock stars or famous people in the early 1980s.  It is so weird to see the band so young.

Then, I found this clip:

I almost turned this off until I saw the dancing.  Oh, for the dancing.  Seriously, watch until at least 1:45.  Simon has some moves.

While I feel like I see most interviews/clips that come out these days, I love when I find that I missed one.  Here is a clip of the band winning a lifetime achievement award in 2015.

Simon’s speech is touching but I really related to Mark Ronson talking about being a kid and hearing the Reflex.  “And that’s what I want to listen to for the rest of my life.”  That’s my life.  Exactly.

Clearly, I could go on and on and on and on.  Yet, I think that awards clip is the perfect place to end my search, my viewing, this blog post.  Watching these clips was exactly what I needed today.

-A

Behind the Curtain

How long have you been a Duran Duran fan?  A year?  Five?  Ten?  Twenty?  More than thirty?  Over the course of your tenure as a fan, have you read or seen interviews with or about band members?  I bet you have.  In fact, I would go so far to say that you have seen/read enough that you might think you have a sense of who each band member is or an idea of what their personalities are like?  Let me give examples.  Simon seems to be somewhat of a thrill seeker with his adventures sailing or riding on motorbikes.  Nick seems to be cool in all situations as nothing seems to ruffle his feathers.  Many would comment that Roger is quiet and keeps to himself.  Am I on the right track?

On the flip side, many fans might feel like we would know what they wouldn’t do.  My goodness there has been plenty of threads, discussions, lists focused on what just Nick wouldn’t do.  The examples are numerous including Nick would never wear plaid or Nick would never attend a rodeo or jump in mud.  Do any fans really know this?  Does any fan really know what Simon is like?  Or John?  Or Roger?  Isn’t this really a situation in which conclusions are drawn or made based on what interviews we have seen or heard combined with stories we have heard and/or our own observations?  Yet, do you ever wonder if those conclusions are as accurate as we all think they are?  What if they aren’t right on?

As I started to think about this over the course of the week, I pondered whether or not anyone really knows anyone.  Do people know themselves?  Yes, I know that this sounds like a goofy question.  Let me explain where this is coming from.  Last night, I found myself at a meeting.  The focus of the meeting was to find a way to make teachers’ jobs less frustrating and time consuming.  At this meeting, some attendees disagreed with the meeting’s focus.  They felt that teachers should only emphasize the parts of the job that directly affects students.  The teachers, including myself, sitting at the table felt instant frustration, not because we don’t care about our students but because we are also people who matter!  After the meeting, my friend and colleague commented about how I didn’t lose my cool and how she has never seen me lose my cool.  I couldn’t disagree.  I have worked really hard and work really hard to maintain a professional response at everything I do.  That doesn’t mean, though, that I’m not raging on the inside or that I’m not emotional underneath.  In fact, in many cases, I keep to myself, not because I don’t feel, but because I’m afraid that if I let even a little out, there would be an explosion of whatever emotion I had.  I will go further than that.  I worry that the explosion would be so bad that I would have such serious consequences that I could never recover from, whether the consequences were losing a job or losing friends or something else.  After I tell her this, she is surprised as that is not how she sees me.  Then, I wonder…does anyone see the real me or do I hide it that well?

What about the members of Duran Duran?  Do they feel like anyone sees the real them or do people just see those exterior characteristics that I mentioned earlier that may or may not be the whole truth?  It reminds me of the line, “Do crowds make you feel lonely?” from the song, A Matter of Feeling.  Is this what they were talking about?  Was the cause of this lonely feeling because no one really knows them?  If so, why is this the case?  Why don’t people know them?  Is it a situation in which they hide their real selves  well?  Or is it just that people can’t see the real them, no matter how open they feel they are?  I guess in their case, it could be that real life friends and family do know them but they were pushing back on the idea that fans or strangers could know them, too.  Maybe they were saying that fans really can’t know them no matter how many interviews were seen or heard or how many interactions they have had.

Then, of course, the next logical question is…whether or not it is a good idea for fans or other strangers to really know what they are like.  Is it good for them to be that open?  Is it good for anyone?  Does it matter to them if people really know them or not?  Does it matter for anyone?    Food for thought.

-A

The End of Everything and Everyone

I saw some distress in the Duran Duran fan community after an article came out with this headline:  “Duran Duran admit the end could be near as they prepare for Nottingham show.”  This article, which you can read here, featured an interview with John Taylor.  In this interview, John says the following about Duran’s future, including how many albums they will be making:

“What I will say is that there aren’t going to be that many more,” he admits.  “And because that may be the case then you feel that you’ve got to make it as good as you can.  Because there are not going to be that many but the ones that are will be here forever.”

Let’s break down what he said.  He did not say that Paper Gods would be the last Duran Duran album.  Instead, what he said that is that there won’t be MANY more.  Does that mean that there will be one more album?  Three more?  Clearly, he didn’t give specifics.  It sounds to me that he doesn’t really know how many more albums there would be, which makes sense to me.  First of all, Duran Duran takes a LONG time to make an album.  John gives one reason why they might take a long time to make albums in that quote.  The band knows that the albums will be around forever so, clearly, they want to take their time to make the best ones they can.  Lately, it has taken them between 3-4 years between albums.  Let’s face it, three years from now, Simon will be turning 60.  Second, life happens.  It is unpredictable.  As much as the band might want to make three or ten more albums, they don’t really know what the future will hold.  No one does.

Clearly, though, the idea that Duran would cease to exist anymore is upsetting.  I totally get why fans would express concern and sadness over reading that headline.  No one wants the end of Duran Duran.  The thought of the band ending SOMEDAY causes my stomach to clench and tears to instantly form in my eyes.  My world would be a much, much, much smaller place and I would be incredibly heartbroken.  The grief would be intense.  That said, I recognize that they can’t continue forever, no matter how much we might want them to continue.  I think of my own career.  I have students who tell me over and over that I should always be at the high school I’m at, teaching.  They want their own children to go to school there and have me as a teacher.  Obviously, I am flattered by this but someday I will leave that school.  Right now, like Duran Duran, I don’t know if I will teach there for another year or 3 years or 10.  I just don’t know.  Therefore, I found John’s statement to be incredibly realistic.  It doesn’t sound like he wants to be done but he accepts that the future might require them to be done.  I have to respect that.

While many fans seemed particularly upset by this statement, some were more upset because it was stated during a tour.  I am not sure what the concern there is.  Do they think this would stop people from attending shows?  Do they think that new fans wouldn’t be created?  I’m not sure.  I had a different reaction to the fact that John said this during a tour.  It reminded me that I need to embrace what the band is doing RIGHT NOW.  I don’t want to look back on the past or worry too much about the future.  I don’t want to focus on the sadness that is guaranteed to come once Duran is done.  No, instead, I want to be happy that the band has an album out and that they are touring.  It reminds me that I shouldn’t put off going to as many concerts as I can because there will be an end someday.  I don’t want to have regrets.  Instead, I want to be able to say, at the end of the day, that I embraced the band as much as I could when I could.  If there is a lesson in John’s statement, perhaps, it is that.  Embrace the band now and for as long as you can.

-A

 

Countdown to Paper Gods–SIX!!!

6 DAYS!!

That’s it!  That is all we have left to wait to get to hear this album that so many have been waiting for!  By now, I wouldn’t be surprised if the restless energy has increased to almost an unbearable level!

What to do with this anxiousness?!  We have the answer for you!  Our recommendation today is to check out recent interviews and reviews.  Yes, there are many, many reviews popping up!

Some Interviews to Check Out:

The Paul Franks Show with John and Nick

Bestival Set for Duran Premiere

USA Today

Radio Wales with Simon

Star 102.5 with John

Some Review to Check Out

Renowned for Sound

Rolling Stone

Time:

Time

 

Entertainment Weekly:

Entertainment Weekly

Upcoming Media:

Of course, you can also keep track of what is coming up by following the list on the official website, which you can see here!

What interviews or reviews have you found?  What has caught your attention?  Which have been your favorites?

-A

Damn It, Le Bon!!!

(Amanda kind of dared me to use this as the title, and maybe you’ll see why in a bit.)

I have spent my day re-writing. A wise person once told me that writing is really re-writing. I really wish I’d listened more carefully because they weren’t kidding. My brain is now fried, so let’s all hope for the best and expect the worst for this particular post!

I haven’t been to a single show yet (well, recently is probably more accurate), and so my excitement has been confined to being thrilled for other fans, and reading the inevitable reviews following a show day.

As I mentioned in my first paragraph, I’m struggling with the basic thought process, so I’m probably going to be more honest and blunt than usual. With that in mind, I’m just going to say it: I always look for Dom’s name in the reviews. Is that wrong? I say no. Most of the rest of the band gets mentioned in each review; but it’s not always that way for Dom, so to see him be mentioned certainly isn’t a bad thing. Likewise when the band is interviewed – typically they are being asked about themselves and their career. It’s really rare to see them asked about their guitarist, so when they are and someone brings up Dom’s talent – I notice.

Imagine my delight when Simon is asked about working with guitar players in today’s edition of The Morning Call.  John Moser conducts the interview with Simon by phone (By the way Mr. Moser, it’s Nile. Nile Rodgers) and asks about how they got together with John Frusciante for the album. Simon explains how they were contacted by John, and Moser follows up by asking Simon if he’s worried about replicating the sound live.

“Well [laughs] we’ve got an amazing guitarist, which is Dom Brown [he’s been the band’s touring guitarist since 2006*.] Dom in very versatile; he’s been a session player for years and years and years before he became part of the Duran Duran setup. And if anybody can do it live, Dom Brown can.” – Simon Le Bon

Exactly.

I know that as a writer, I should be taking “myself” out of this blog – but the fact is, I could have cried in that moment I read that line.  I tweeted my one-word comment and the link out to Dom, because you know what?  He so deserves the kudos. Damn Simon, making me feel all sappy…

But then I kept reading (Yes, I really did stop reading in order to send the tweet to Dom.  I have a very soft spot in my hard-as-nails heart for the guy. If he ever left Duran Duran, I would still be a fan.) I’m glad I went back to the article. Simon was asked a great question about how to walk the balance between pushing the envelope and keeping the “older” (I will try not to take offense at that term) fans happy with newer music.

“Well I think you’ve got to think about all your fans. And the first ones you’ve got to look after are the ones who’ve been with you for years and years and years. You know, those are the people, by the way, who gave [Duran Duran’s 2007 album] ‘Red Carpet Massacre’ the thumbs down, and that’s because it didn’t have that critical mass of following supporting it. It didn’t really make it onto the radio and it wasn’t really a hit because of that.

The next album, 2011’s ‘All You Need Is Now,’ definitely connected with  out fans. They felt it was our and Mark Ronson’s attempt for Duran Duran to reclaim the ‘80s. And that worked really well with our fans – they loved that one.

With this album, we take it as – we realize we couldn’t really do the same thing with ‘All You Need is Now,’ but this band had to develop the idea. And do something – well,  guess that the fans would be proud of. You always want your fans  to be proud of you as a band, because really you belong to them.” – Simon Le Bon

I don’t need to talk about Red Carpet Massacre. That album is the past, and it is every bit as worthy as Rio in their narrative, because both albums brought them to this point. And this point is pretty damn good, I must say.  Instead, I’m thinking about my pride at being a fan. I certainly didn’t know when I was eleven years old that I would still be a fan at forty-five, and yet here I am.  Proud? Without a  single doubt.

This band really isn’t “mine” in the sense that I own them….but on the same token, I feel as though their history IS a part of my own. This fandom is so complicated and messy at times, but it’s home.  For those that don’t know, I’m Italian. We Italians are a funny sort, and family, or, “famiglia”, is very important. Never mind that you may get supremely angry at your family for something as small as calling during dinner and choose not speak to them for the next six months…famiglia is important. This band, as well as the fan community, is my family.  It is home.

 

It touches my heart whenever the band mentions the fans, because although I try to pretend otherwise, I’m really not made entirely of stone. The love is there, and to feel it being returned on occasion sure doesn’t suck.

Then there’s this beautiful interview I read this afternoon on rolling stone.com . Yes, it mentions Lindsay Lohan…again….but I can ignore that purely because Rob Sheffield is saying something that I wish I could scream from the rooftops.

“If Paper Gods were a debut from some upstart band, the buzz would be insane — yet this is the latest from a group that’s been reinventing itself for more than 30 years.” – Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone

I don’t necessarily always agree with Sheffield, but he nailed it here. If this were any other band, the buzz would be huge. I think most fans believe in this album and know it SHOULD be huge. The question, the struggle, is how to get it there.

All I really know how to do is love the music, love the band, and keep writing.  Amanda and I have always kind of poked fun at Simon here on the blog…and of course there’s that whole “do not spit on us during White Lines” thing. We love him, and we love to tease him.  Endlessly. Mercilessly.  We figure that he’s got most women willing to eat out of his hands, so he can take a couple of Americans giving him a rough time once in a while.

So, when in a single day I read not one but two heartwarming and kind quotes from Simon…it throws me. No, the Rolling Stone interview quote wasn’t from him but I don’t care. I’ve got no Le Bon jokes today. Damn it!!

-R

*Dom has been touring with Duran Duran since 2004, but he wasn’t actually made a permanent member of the touring band until 2006.

Duran Duran History – Maximum CD

Today’s Duran Duran History takes us back to 2004 when the interview CD called Maximum Duran Duran was released.  It is really an unauthorized biography of the band.  It does include some interviews from the band members as well.  One thing that was cool about it is that it came with a booklet with some rarely seen pictures and a little poster.

I actually own this but haven’t listened to it in a long time.  Perhaps, I should pull it out and give it a listen!  If you are interested in purchasing a copy, it appears that you can buy one through Amazon. If you have this one or buy it, do let us know what you think of it!

-A