Tag Archives: Duran Duran interviews

A Diamond on the Mind on PBS

Has anyone checked out A Diamond on the Mind on PBS yet? My local PBS channel aired it last night. After a busy day campaigning for local candidates, I planned on sitting on the couch, grading and reading for work. I figured putting A Diamond in the Mind on would provide a great soundtrack, allowing me to be productive and focused. Well, it didn’t work quite as well as I hoped.

I turned the channel at about 9 pm, with grading pen in hand. I soon realized that I had no idea what the format of this airing would be. Would they just show the whole concert? Would there be commercials? I remembered hearing or reading about how new interviews with Simon and Nick would be part of it. I decided not to worry about it and got to work.

The concert started with Planet Earth, A View to a Kill and The Reflex. Right away, I recognized that this was not the regular order of songs during the All You Need Is Now Tour. No, the shows began with Before the Rain. My immediate reaction to this realization was hardcore eye-rolling. Really? Are we just going to air the “hits”? Is that how this was going to go? Why?!? Then, the PBS people popped up to start talking about making a pledge. Who were these PBS people? Women. Are they assuming that women watching would relate to these women talking? Do they think that only women are watching? I’m not sure but it did make me wonder. Then, if that was not bad enough, they commented that the viewers should contribute because PBS is not our parents’ PBS but ours. Duran Duran is our music, the music for our generation. If we want to see music like this on the channel, we need to donate. Now, of course, PBS included some gifts for people’s contribution. One level had a 10 song CD (not sure what songs were included–probably the hits). The next had a DVD copy of A Diamond in the Mind and the CD. Finally, someone could get both of those along with Classic Hits: Rio and Mad World (book by Lori Majewski about 80s hits).

As I saw this sales pitch over and over again, I found myself cringing over and over again. First of all, I have never felt so old in my life. Are we really at the age that our music is acceptable to those who are middle-aged and old? I tend to think of PBS performers to be boring and unchallenging. It isn’t threatening, generally. I don’t really want Duran Duran to be in the camp. I appreciate that PBS is trying to broaden their usual audience and even that they offered some Duran items. Of course, those items did not make me jump since I already have the items they offered. It is the thought that counts, right?

Beyond showing mostly the hits and offering some Duran products, they also featured an interview with Simon and Nick. While I always appreciate interviews, I found myself a bit frustrated that the focus was on the past. There were a lot of questions about Rio or other famous songs from their past, including A View to a Kill and Ordinary World. While I get that they think the majority of the audience would want to focus on the songs that they know, I wish that there were questions about what the band is doing now. Wouldn’t the fans who only know of 80s and 90s Duran want to know that the band is still around? Couldn’t PBS advertise Duran as much as Duran was used to advertise them? I don’t think I heard anything about the concert we were watching even. Sigh.

At the end of the night, I did not get much grading done. I found myself distracted by this PBS viewing. Did anyone else see it? What did you think?


South Africa Interview from 1982

Life sure has a way to swing from one extreme to the next, doesn’t it? Last week at this time, I was finishing up my second winter break of sorts as I had four snow days in a row. Those days were pretty chill. While I checked off some items on my to do list, it was done with minimal stress. Since returning to school/work, I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off with campaign work taking up just as much time as my teaching job. This means that by Thursday night, I’m beat. I was even supposed to go to a meeting last night but opted not to due to slick roads and exhaustion. The results for this blog means that I cannot be super creative or even probably decently articulate. I’m settling with a “good enough” attitude. I apologize in advance. I hope to be on my game more tomorrow.

Rather than attempt a topic that is super thought-provoking or funny that would not go so well in my current state, I figured it might be better to check out an interview. By interview, I mean a Duran Duran interview. Yes, it will be random because that will be fun. I’ll share the interview in a second and then share my thoughts about it. I’m sure those conclusions will be amazingly uninterestingly but what the heck. If I haven’t alienated you yet, maybe you will put up with just a little bit more.

Somehow, I managed to find an interview that I haven’t seen and I don’t think I have shared on here before. According to the video description, this is from South Africa in 1982. Fascinating.

Ignoring the very quiet audio, I’m not surprised that the first real question had to do with video. Simon’s statement about how they had to do something new to get attention and how they are going to be the first video band made me think. While I totally get why he said that as they were getting lots of attention because of their videos, I wonder how long it was until he wished that he had answered differently. I remember countless interviews where they talk about how much longer it takes to make a song vs. a video and that they wished that people focused on their music more. Sometimes, saying something that seems good at one time ends up coming back to bite you in the butt.

Interestingly enough, the next time Simon speaks he gives an answer that does not sound dated in that they are trying to broaden their audience. Heck, he could say the very same thing today. After all, I’m sure that there are a lot of women in the front these days with lots of guys further back.

The last part that caught my attention was the discussion about America’s musical tastes. Simon talked about how America just seems bored of the “rubbish” music that is out. (In 1982, I don’t know that I would disagree with him especially when it comes to mainstream, Top 40 radio.) The funny part is that Simon said something along the line of how once the U.S. hears the new music coming out of the UK, that it will catch on quickly. He really wasn’t wrong. I wonder how he knew that. How could he tell?

This was not my favorite video (mostly due to the poor volume) but I enjoyed it, nonetheless. I thought it was cool to see Roger looking about as relaxed in an interview from that time period that I have ever seen. It is fascinating about how many of these questions might be asked today and how they might respond exactly as they did then for some questions but not for others. What did the rest of you think?


Duran Duran Interview 1981 Thoughts and Reactions

A couple of weeks ago, the question of the day focus shifted from interviews to comparing b-sides and bonus tracks. We moved away from interviews because there were not many people who were voting. When I questioned why, the overwhelming response I got was that people enjoyed the interviews but simply did not have time to watch them and vote within the day. I could appreciate that myself as time is not always something I have. That said, I wanted to honor those people who mentioned how they were often seeing interviews for the very first time and enjoying them. How do I keep that part alive while engaging more of the fanbase? The simple answer is that I moved on in terms of questions of the day but figured that I could occasionally focus on a blog post on an interview. Today’s blog does just that. In this case, let’s watch an interview from 1981. Then, I’ll dive into what I thought about it!

Now, I have seen a lot of Duran Duran interviews in my life but that one was *new* to me. How many of you had seen that before? Some of the topics that the interviewer focused on included studio use, the New Romantic label, fashion and more. Studio use was the first topic but one that we missed the beginning of the discussion for. It sounded like the band was asked about which studio they would use for the next album. I love that Nick just declared they were looking at some place in France. Do people even ask that question of them anymore? Would they even answer? Does that matter much? I’m sure that it would be important to them but to the average listener or viewer? It doesn’t to me unless I had a chance to be anywhere near it. I just thought it was an odd question.

The second big topic was the New Romantic label. This, of course, interested me a lot more. It also shows that this interview was indeed from the early 1980s as now people mention that label but it doesn’t mean anything. I’m sure in 1981 people thought this label might be around for a long, long time. In hindsight, we know that it doesn’t. Other labels, like New Wave, Post-Punk, etc. from the time lasted much longer and mattered a lot more to the general public as well as the music industry, I think. The band’s response was exactly what I expected. They clearly wanted to shake off the label. Perhaps, they thought the New Romantic label would stifle them or limit their potential audience. I could get that. I also saw their point about it being about how they looked as opposed to music. Maybe, if they didn’t have a line in Planet Earth about new romantics, they wouldn’t have been asked that as much (even though I like that lyric). Now, almost forty years later, the term just makes me smile. I wonder how present day Duran would respond now.

The rest of the interview was far less interesting to me. While I understand people’s interest in fashion, it isn’t something I know very much about. It is a world that I have never had any connection to. This, of course, is even more removed from current day fashion as they were talking about places and designers of the early 1980s in the UK. Nonetheless, it does provide a little time capsule of that period.

While I cannot say that I learned a ton from this interview, I enjoyed it nonetheless. I liked seeing how they held themselves then, how they interacted with each other and what they had to say. What did the rest of you think? On another note, when I do these interview focused blogs, would you all like to rate the interviews like we were doing for the question of the day? Do you have any interview that you think I should watch and discuss on here?