Tag Archives: Duran Duran Katy Kafe

Katy Kafe with Simon: July 2018

Throughout my teaching career, I have had to help students of various ages deal with crises.  Those crises came in various forms from having a classmate critically injured to having a teacher die in front of the building to national situations like the terrorist attack on September 11th.  No matter the size of the crisis or scope, many experts agreed that it is important to maintain structure after addressing the current crisis when possible, to keep things normal while students process.  The ordinary provides comfort.  At first, I questioned this.  Was this really the right way to go?  Then, I discovered that it not only helped them but assisted the adults, too.  It provided the necessary push for us to keep moving forward, one day, one activity at a time.

The last few days have been hard in Duranland.  I know that I’m still processing.  On top of that, I had a terrible scare in my own life.  I went with my mother for a routine medical procedure yesterday when all of a sudden, she reported “feeling funny” before having her eyes roll in the back of her head, mouth go slack, her heart rate and blood pressure drop as she passed out.  This resulted in calls for help from the medical staff present to other medical staff in the hospital as well as calls on the intercom for assistance in a “medical emergency.”  Thankfully, she came to within minutes and her vitals returned to normal.  The culprit appeared to be some sort of reaction to the medication given or the procedure itself.  Today, she is home and feeling good.  Still, it is moment that has replaying itself in my mind since then.  In response to both this terrifying experience with my mother and the reports in which someone accused Simon of sexual assault, I am left feeling shaken.  This is when I turn back to my training, my experiences as a teacher.  I attempt to keep that structure to provide me a little comfort.  To that end, instead of giving my two cents about this upsetting news in Duranland, I will instead take a listen to this month’s Katy Kafe, giving my reaction to some of the highlights.  As always, I’m sharing what stuck out to me.  For the full blown kafe, I would head to DuranDuranMusic to listen for yourself.

World Cup and Being a “Glamfather”:

Of course, the kafe opens with Simon talking about how he was looking forward to the football (soccer) match between England and Croatia.  Apparently, he was having friends over to watch.  (For the record, so sorry to my friends across the pond for England’s loss.  Big bummer.)  I’m slightly amused that Simon went on and on about his new TV and its wall mount.  Without much of a pause, he brings up both tennis and his new grandson, Taro.  Simon says that he is “absolutely beautiful.”  He describes him as quiet until he is hungry then he is loud.  Simon says that he can see himself in him.  It sounds like he is enjoying this experience immensely.  I, for one, am thrilled for Simon and the rest of his family.

Duran Duran Take Over BBC Night:

Simon thought the documentary was “brilliant”.  Katy zeroed in on Simon’s choir teacher at his church and whether or not Simon had been in contact before this.  Simon said that he had been a little bit and that his teacher is proud of Duran Duran.  Aww…as a teacher I know how proud one can be from seeing a student succeed.  Beyond that, Simon brought up this idea of putting those early songs out to raise money for the church.  (I hope this happens.  That would be cool.)

The other piece of the documentary that Katy brought up was the time when the band squeezed into the Citroen car and how difficult it was from Simon to drive.  Like much of the rest of the kafe, Simon quickly brought up the other cars that the band members drove throughout the documentary.  (This part of the conversation is much like the TV discussion in the beginning.)

Sadly enough, Simon did not see the Night In part of the programming when the band members talked about their media influences.  Katy said that she enjoyed that part better than the documentary.  (Again, I think about how I had little expectations for this program but it was so entertaining.  I loved seeing them interact in just a simple conversation between friends.)  Interestingly enough, the band got a bunch more followers on Twitter on the day those shows aired.  I have to wonder where those fans were before this!?!

Studio This Year???

Katy asked the question that a lot of fans want to know–will the band return to the studio this year.  Simon said that they were.  It just depends on logistics.  Of course, he also acknowledged all the work that went into the Paper Gods project and how they all want to enjoy themselves this summer.  So, Simon says later this year for the studio.  Interestingly enough, Simon mentioned that they would also consider show possibilities for the end of the year or next summer.  Hmm…

You know what is funny?  In the past, when I listened to a new kafe, I would always root for some big scoop.  Don’t get me wrong.  I still love when a band member shares something new, but I didn’t find myself fixated by that idea this time.  No, I found myself appreciating the way that Simon bounces from topic to topic (perhaps that was the caffeine talking) and the easy conversational flow between Simon and Katy.  Like the show with the band talking about what their influences were, I like that this kafe felt like hearing two friends just talk, catch up.  It felt easy and relaxed.  Happy.  It was just what I needed today.

-A

March 2018 Katy Kafe with Simon

Before I dive into the highlights and my thoughts regarding this month’s Katy Kafe, I want to thank everyone for the thoughts and well-wishes for my dad.  All of the comments have helped me to keep going in order to be there for him and my mom.  Again, I thank you.  Now, on to the Katy Kafe…

This particular one features Simon answering fan questions, twenty of them in fact!  As always, this is not a word-for-transcript.  Instead, I’m just sharing the highlights along with some of my commentary.  If you want it all (and I know you do), get yourself over to DuranDuranMusic to listen for yourself!  This means that I am not going to cover every question but  will pick out the most interesting to me.  I’m also going to divide them into band related questions and Simon only questions.

Duran Related Questions:

Question:  Does Simon write lyrics all the time or just when an album is coming up?

Simon stated that he does often write down phrases that could work as song lyrics all the time but tends to do more when an album is coming up.  It just happens naturally.  One aspect of songwriting that he focused on was on titles.  He mentioned an artist who had a friend name one of his pieces, which he thought was so fascinating.  At times, being given a title has worked for him like Rio, A View to a Kill, Girl Panic, and Electric Barbarella.  (Note to self:  That could make for an interesting daily question. Which title is better?  Or what is a title that would make for an interesting Duran song.)

Question:  Why is Last Chance on the Stairway not played live?

Simon focused on the middle part of the song that features a vibraphone that he would have to relearn.  I suspect some fans would love for him to do just that in order to hear it live!

Question:  Which DD song from the 80s should get a 2018 make-over?

He suggested Late Bar or My Own Way but commented about how fans really aren’t that keen with changing songs.  (I have to admit that is true.  I remember freaking out a little with the changes done to Too Much Information live in 2015.  To my credit, I actually liked it a lot once I got used to it.)  Katy and Simon focused on changes to Hungry Like the Wolf in 1993.  Simon wants to know which is better:  album version or the live 1993 version of that song.  Answer on Twitter via #AskSimonMarch.

Question:  What was Simon’s favorite DD video to shoot?

Simon really like the ones filmed in Sri Lanka because it was so amazing being there.  He enjoyed the action shots from Hungry but loved the relaxed feel of Save a Prayer and how there was more band in that one.

Question:  What was the inspiration for Cinderella Ride?

Simon talked about someone who helps the sick and the poor, especially in the back streets of London.  (Now I’ll have to relisten to it through that lens!)

Question:  When does the band celebrate the 40th anniversary?

Simon thinks that July 16, 2020 would be a good day as it will be the 40th anniversary of him being on stage with the band for the first time!  (NOTED!  I will keep that date open!)

Question:  Which song would you never get tired of performing?

Simon said that the song has to be something that he could sing in a wheelchair like Come Undone or Secret Oktober. (!!!)

Question:  What does it feel like to be a band that is so loved by many for so long?

Simon loves the music and the guys in the band.  “We look out for each other,” he stated.  Being a part of Duran has made him feel “useful.”  (I get that.)

Simon Only Questions:

Question:  Has the SYN track, “Closer to Your Bed” ever been released?  If so, where can people hear it?

Simon does not think that it has but maybe it should be.  He went on to share that when he was 12, he made a 4 track record when he was part of the church choir.  His old choir master has a clean copy and thinks it should be released.  Simon is considering doing that as a fundraiser in which the proceeds would go to the church choir.  Would people be interested in buying a copy?  If so, tell him again on Twitter with the hashtag #AskSimonMarch.

Question:  Who should play him in a movie?

Simon suggested Aaron Johnson, Ryan Gosling, or even Margot Robbie.

Question:  If he could take out a giant billboard, what would it say?

Be nice.  (Aww…)

Katy must have said a number of times that this is one of the best Kafes they have ever done.  I cannot disagree.  As I stated earlier, I didn’t include everything because there was so much.  Some of the questions I didn’t cover here:  One thing Simon has tried but wouldn’t do again, which 80s peer is he still in contact with, whether or not the duet with Isabelle Adjani would ever be released, who should cover a Duran song and which song, and more.  I, for one, applaud the questions as they were super interesting and loved hearing Simon’s responses.  I look forward to more Kafes like this one!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-A

January 2018 Katy Kafe with Roger

Guess what was released this week?  Yep.  A brand, spanking new Katy Kafe!  This one featured our favorite drummer who answered questions fans submitted on Twitter.  Now, I am lucky enough to listen to it and to share some of what discussed along with my thoughts.  Of course, I’m not giving a play-by-play here–just the highlights.  If you want the full version, get yourself over to DuranDuranMusic and listen for yourself!  You won’t regret it.

New Year

Roger stated that they had an “amazing” New Year playing on the 30th.  Then, Roger stayed in Vegas to celebrate New Year’s Eve while some others went on to LA.  He enjoyed his time there, including seeing some shows like the Michael Jackson one.  While I didn’t stay in Vegas on New Year’s Eve, I, too, enjoyed my time there.

40th Anniversary Ideas

According to Roger, a lot of the ideas are “just cooking”.  There are no actual plans yet.  It sounds to me that they are still brainstorming ideas but nothing is set in stone.  Fair enough.  It takes time and energy to plan.  I get it.  He does say that there will be shows at some point but nothing definite.  It sounds like a lot of the discussion surrounds when is the actual 40th?  Is it 2018 or 2020?  Katy thought 2020 made sense.  What do the rest of you think?

Longevity

When asked why the band has lasted so long, Roger said that they always look forward.  While they could look at the past, they don’t much.  Instead, they are “ambitious” and focus on the next project.  That makes sense to me.  I wish I had a job like that, in some ways, with projects instead of a constant series of tasks.

Working with…

Roger would definitely be willing to work any of the people that the band worked with for All You Need Is Now or Paper Gods.  The key is to be able to align schedules.  He mentioned Mark Ronson, Nile Rodgers and Mr. Hudson.  My response?  Yes, please.

More Comfortable

When asked if he has gotten more comfortable doing interviews, being in the spotlight, etc. Roger stated that he has gotten a little more comfortable even though he still is a little shy.  He is happy being in the back, playing drums.  Katy asked if he was uncomfortable during the Electro Set since they all were at the front of the stage.  Apparently, that was okay because he was speaking through the drums.  Interesting.  I can relate to that.  I sometimes feel it easier to talk in my classroom when playing “teacher” than I do as an individual.

Planning for a show

How does the band get ready for a show or a tour?  The answer:  There is “no planning.”  The usual deal is that they “panic” about a week before and wait until the last minute.  Well, then.

Career Highlights

In recent years, the highlight was making the Paper Gods album as Roger thinks it is the best album since the reunion.  In the early years, the definite highlight was playing Madison Square Garden in 1984.  He mentioned how he flew his parents out for it, which was huge as his mother doesn’t fly.  Apparently, they gave her a bottle of whiskey and valium to get her through.  Funny stuff!  I’m sure that she was glad that she did that and was very proud to see her son play to all those fans in such a monumental venue.

What Song That Has Not Played Live but Wants to

This is the question that I found myself screaming at my computer.  He couldn’t think of any songs they haven’t played live even when he focused on the new album.  I, of course, start screaming Planet Roaring, Butterfly Girl, etc.  Finally, he says that they wish they played You Kill Me with Silence more than just on Jimmy Kimmel (TV show).

What bothers him most about being famous

Now, he is not bothered by anything when it comes to being famous.  In the past, the fame was too intense as he couldn’t go where he wanted to.  Fans, these days, Roger says are pretty cool.  They leave them alone after saying hello  or signing a few things when spotted  in hotel lobbies.

 Least Favorite Song to Play Live

Roger couldn’t think of one.  My reaction:  Really?!  Really?!?

Where wants to play

Roger would like to play in India and Thailand.  I learned that Roger loved to travel because he didn’t travel much as a kid.  Now, he is pretty happy to be home, too.  I get that.

What is most looking forward to in 2018

The studio!  Yes, the band plans to get back into the studio at some point.  Will there be shows this year?  Rogers says it will be a “quiet” one.  Sounds like it might a good year to plan or attend a convention.  Just sayin’.

I enjoyed the Kafe and getting some new insight into Roger Taylor, the person, rather than just the drummer for Duran.

-A

 

Year End Katy Kafe with Nick!

The final Kafe has been posted!  This one featured one Mr. Nick Rhodes who enjoyed a little white wine while he chatted with Katy about his 2017 highlights.  As always, I recommend tuning in yourself as I’m only sharing bits and pieces.  Hearing it for yourself is much better!  On that note, let’s dive in.

2017 Thoughts:

World Events:

Nick found most of the world events to be upsetting and depressing.  (For the record: Same here.  The low level depression is real.)  I wish Nick hopes that 2018 brings more common sense to the world and that we move away from the far right wing politics that we are moving towards. (Again, same here.  I won’t lie.  As someone with a history degree, my anxiety about the current state of affairs is high.)   He would prefer politics to be at the comfortable center.  That said, he discussed some of the fabulous exhibitions he attended, including ones at the Royal Academy, MOMA, San Francisco, Tate Modern and lots more.

Movies:

He has not seen many movies yet but will need to in order to participate in the Oscar’s annual discussion.  He did like Blade Runner and is a big fan of the original.  Like previous members have mentioned, it was really “beautiful” and “stylish”.  Nick mentioned a couple of other movies but many of them were hard to understand due to a poor phone connection between himself and Katy.   While he is not a big fan of war movies, Dunkirk was quality.  He did recommend a documentary entitled “Sex, Fashion and Disco,” about Antonio Lopez, a “talented artist.”  Sounds fascinating.

Books:

In the least shocking statement of all, Nick stated how he preferred picture books over other kinds.  One that he discussed was a book called Night Procession, which is available on Amazon for a tiny $120.  Well then…Nick does say that it is “magical” as it about photographs with animals at night in the forest.  “Beautifully strange,” indeed.  Katy thought that the photos are a little “creepy” but are “very Nick” in terms of style.

TV:

He has not watched much TV even though he has many shows he would like to see.   One that he is interested in is Twin Peaks, a show led by David Lynch.  I’m actually shocked that he has not seen it yet.  He tried to watch the new episodes live when he was in LA but alas…it did not work out.

Music:

Nick often depends on John Taylor to share the latest music that he has found, but this year he has been abandoned by John in this.  He has found some on his own.  2017, in Nick’s opinion, has been great for female singers.  He listed some, but again, I struggled to hear specific names.  (I blame my lack of knowledge about current/new musical artists.  I guess I need a John Taylor in my life to share things with me!)

Favorite Duran Duran Moment:

He mentioned Lollalapooza in South America, partly because they hadn’t played there in a long time and that there was a LOT of fans there this time.  Hawaii was a special show, which allowed them to cross out another U.S. state.  He also talked about how the tour ended in Japan.  Miami, their most recent show, got a shout out as well.

Personal Highlights:

When in Tokyo, he decided to stay there an extra week to make a documentary on Japanese photography.  He was then able to interview many of the greats from the last century.  Now, he is going to start piecing it together with no idea when it will come out since he is doing it all on his own.

What He’s Looking Forward to in 2018:

He mentioned finishing the documentary as well as the musical with John.  I laughed when he talked about how they started it 7 years ago.  I can relate.  Since the tour ended, they spent a few weeks getting it into shape.  Looking to release it to Broadway then to the UK, maybe, possibly.  (Makes note to start saving money now to travel to see it.)  He believes that it represents what they set out to do with it.  It fascinates me, that’s for sure.  Beyond those and more, he looks forward to his “day job”.  He stated that they already have some dates (limited ones) planned, including the one in Dubai.  According to Nick, this makes John and Simon happy, in particular, because they really miss the live shows.  (For the record, so do we.)  Then, 2019 and 2020 isn’t that far away.  Likewise, the studio is coming, sometime in the next few months with the idea that it could turn into a new album but it doesn’t have to in this day and age.  Katy did ask if they would tour for the anniversary.  Nick’s response?  There will be lots going on but he imagines that there will be shows.

Nick’s Kafe was nice and long!  In fact, it had to be broken up into 2 parts.  Of course, he will return before too long for the Oscars special.

-A

Year End Kafe with Simon

My Lyric Day Friday has been postponed!  Why?  Someone was a trouble maker.  Who?  Of course, it is Simon as his year end Katy Kafe has been released!  I’m kidding…at least about blaming him.  I’m glad that the year end kafes have started.  I look forward to all the Kafes, including the year end ones and I’m thrilled that I get to blog about one, at least.  As always, this little blog post simply captures some of the Kafe, but it is in no way, shape or form a complete review.  If you want to hear it all, go to DuranDuranMusic and listen for yourself.  If you are not a member, go and get yourself a membership.  Treat yourself.

Holiday Prep:

Simon discussed the upcoming holidays a little bit, including his three Christmas trees, how they are decorated and what drinks put him in the holiday frame-of-mind.  He mentioned two drinks, in particular:  mulled wine (basically heated wine with spices) and sloe gin.  After Simon described how to create mulled wine, Katy declared that he would win at Survivor.  There was no immediate agreement, but Simon did explain how to remove red wine strains from white carpet and how to get water in the desert.  Well then…

2017 In Review:

For the rest of the Kafe, Simon provided answers to his 2017 highlights, favorites, etc.

Event:  The big event for Simon?  He mentioned Duran playing Lollalapooza in Buenos Aires along with Middle East politics, the engagement of Prince Harry, and Donald Trump.  In reality, though, the big event was the passing of his mother, which made 2017 really tough.

Movie:  He liked the new Blade Runner (visually impressive) but wished he had seen Dunkirk.  On the other hand, he saw Nocturnal Animals but wished he hadn’t since it was so depressing (but good).  Personally, I haven’t seen any of them, but should probably see Dunkirk since I teach about that not-so-little war.

Book:  The book Simon mentioned was The Essex Serpent.  He even mentioned doing a Simon’s Reader on it.  I had not heard of it so I looked it up.  Here’s the description on Amazon.com about it from the New York Times:  “A novel of almost insolent ambition–lush and fantastical, a wild Eden behind a garden gate…it’s part ghost story and part natural history lesson, part romance and part feminist parable. I found it so transporting that 48 hours after completing it, I was still resentful to be back home.”  It sounds fascinating.

TV Show:  His favorite from this year was Peaky Blinders, which apparently takes place in Birmingham.  Beyond that, he did enjoy Game of Thrones.  Katy and Simon mentioned the use of Duran in the second season of Stranger Things, too.

Music:  As far as music goes, Simon mentioned Leon Bridges (good) and Depeche Mode (okay).  There was some discussion about genres, including hip hop, pop, and folk.

Personal Highlight:  In this section, Simon focused mostly on Duran, discussing how much he loved the tour, including Hawaii, Japan and South America.  In fact he said, “All the really good things in my life have been on tour.”  He also stated that he might have good news next year, which really makes me wonder!

Next Year:  Simon is looking forward to starting on the next project and the beginning of the anniversary.  I think it goes without saying that he is not the only one!

Overall, Simon’s year end Katy Kafe was entertaining as heck.  I didn’t learn a ton of new Duran news, but I laughed a lot and found myself smiling throughout.

-A

July 2017 Katy Kafe with Nick Highlights

Sometimes, I sit down to write and I have no idea what I’m going to write about.  Other times, I have it planned out.  Today, I knew exactly what I was going to write about and then…I get news that there is a new Katy Kafe out!  I scrap my plans and opt instead to listen to the Kafe and report on the highlights here!  I’ll save that other blog idea for another day.  As always, when Rhonda or I report on a Kafe, we are only sharing some highlights and our thoughts on them.  If you want to hear the whole thing and everything that is mentioned, I recommend getting a membership to Duran Duran Music yourself!

San Francisco:

Nick talked about how he enjoyed going to the City Lights book store in San Francisco and how much he enjoyed the American Beat poets.  I, for one, wish that we would have been able to get there to check out the book store for myself.  That said, I did not know that Nick enjoyed that type of literature.  Good for him.

Calgary:

The best line of the whole Kafe definitely had to be when Nick talked about how he looked out into the audience there and all he saw was a “sea of cowboy hats”!  Yeah, that is not common at Duran shows!  How funny!

Hawaii:

Nick discussed how the shows have been great.  He said that since there are not many of them, they have been “soaking up” every minute of them.  That makes sense!  He also mentioned that this is the first time they are playing in Hawaii and that there are not many states they haven’t played in, including Alaska, one of the Dakotas, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and a few others.  (For the record, Rhonda and I once thought about that as a goal–to see the band in every state until we realized that there are some states that Duran has never played in and some states they probably won’t ever go back to.)  Interestingly enough, while the band has never played in Hawaii, Nick has visited for a holiday.  Apparently, he, along with others this time, did visit Pearl Harbor, which he called “sobering”.  Indeed.  Nick has been taking photos, including the sunsets, even though he is trying to cut down on his photo taking to give himself a chance to create prints of the photos he has taken over the years.  He might do exhibits and even sell some once he gets more prints made.  (I bet there are Duranies who would love that!!)  He even has a book of photos ready to go and is hopeful that it will be out before the end of the year!

Randomness!

When asked about Hold Back the Rain, he said that the band had gotten pressure by China Chow to put it in the setlist.  Fun fact.  I had no idea who she is, so I had to look her up!  Guess I learned something new today and I thank her from all of the fans.  On a different but equally random note, Nick has seen the Elvis concert from Hawaii.  Alrighty then…

Future Concert Locations?

Nick mentioned that he would like to check off those missing states but that there are a lot of cities in Europe that they need to hit as well.  He also would like to play in China and India someday.

Overall, Nick seemed in good spirits and enjoying his time in Hawaii. I wish there had been some scoop about the 40th and what they are planning or thinking of there, but no luck.  Maybe next time!

-A

2016 Year End Katy Kafe with Roger

The other day, the second of four year end Katy Kafes was posted on DuranDuranMusic.  I just now had the chance to listen to Roger’s, which was entertaining, groan worthy, and interesting all at once.  As always, this little blog post contains only what I think are the highlights.  I highly recommend ensuring that you are a member to the fan club in order to hear the Kafes yourself.

Weather and Christmas Traditions:

The Kafe began, as usual, with a brief discussion about both the weather and the upcoming holiday.  Roger mentioned how the UK had been experiencing warm and sunny weather, which doesn’t feel very Christmas like but he was certain it would get colder soon enough.  (For the record, my weather stinks.  We have already had a bunch of snow and it is super cold (as in below zero).  It does not bode well for the rest of the winter.)  Roger’s family has not put up a tree yet.  They like to wait until it is closer to the holiday so their real tree looks good throughout.

World Event:

Roger chose two events as the big world events:  Brexit (the vote in the UK for the country to leave the European Union) and the US Presidential Election.  He claimed that both were surprising and world changing while attempting to be extremely diplomatic.  Katy, on the other hand, discussed her feeling both on Election Night and since.  While I appreciate Roger’s attempt at being neutral, I relate more to Katy.  That said, Roger shared how Donald Trump attended one of the band’s Red Carpet Massacre shows on Broadway.  Funny enough, I also was in attendance that night.  I had better seats than he did and, for some reason, I believe that he did not stay the entire time.

Favorites:

Roger mentioned two albums that had a lot of play this year for him, which were Bob Marley’s Legend and David Bowie’s Blackstar.  As far as movies go, he enjoyed both The Revenant and Eye in the Sky.  As far as Duran Duran moments, he focused on the show at New York’s Apollo and playing in Canada, especially Quebec.  It seems to me that Roger along with the rest of the band members are big on historic venues.  Personally, he was proud to be involved in the Road to Recovery project and enjoyed being an “adult” and being a producer for a day for the at-risk kids.  (Hey Roger, you are welcome to come into my classroom any day if you want to feel like an adult!  Ha!)

2017:

As the Kafe was wrapping up, Katy asked about what Roger was looking forward to in 2017.  He talked about the fact that the band is doing shows in South America and more shows in the US.  Katy asked about Japan since John mentioned playing there.  He responded that they want to play there but nothing has been locked in yet, in terms of when.  More interesting than that was when he stated that it might be time to do new material.  Hmm…clearly, 2017 might be more interesting on the Duran front than I expected!

I enjoyed Roger’s Kafe and look forward to hearing from Simon and Nick soon, too!

-A

September Katy Kafe with John Taylor

I apologize for the lateness of the blog today.  I promised myself that I would get some of that pesky school work done before I completed the more fun task of listening to September’s Katy Kafe and blogging about it.  As always with I’m only going to be sharing what I think the highlights were and my thoughts about them.  If you want the complete deal, I suggest getting that membership to DuranDuranMusic and listening for yourself.  This is one Kafe that is worth it!

End of the Tour:

John commented about how they are on the verge of finishing this tour, which really began for them last year.  He said that the end allows them to look back at the accomplishment while looking forward to the break and the next steps.  I have to admit that I have always wondered what the end of the tour must be for them.  I know what it is like for me.  It is usually one of mixed emotions.  While I’m glad to return home and get some sleep, I’m also terribly sad in that I don’t know when I will see the next Duran show or the next time that I will see my friends, especially Rhonda.  It also usually motivates me to do more work about the blog, our writing or fan events.  I guess it is safe to say that tours usually inspire me.

Next Steps:

This Kafe brought the good stuff right away with Katy asking about next steps.  While there wasn’t a major scoop, there was a few details that I focused in on.  First, the return to the States (probably that East Coast show that DDHQ has hinted about) will be around New Year’s.  (I don’t mind that.  I do have a winter vacation then.  Just for the record.)  Second, 2017 will hopefully include some “special shows”.  That has me wondering what that means!  Of course, he did also mention the idea of continuing the tour to Australia, Asia and South America.  Interesting to note there was no mention of the Broadway musical or ballet that he and Nick have been working on.

Chic:

When Katy brought up the topic of Chic, I have to admit that I wondered what else could be said since most critics, fans, etc. have all talked about how having Chic on tour with Duran was awesome because they fit together well.  Well, JT talked about how Simon was more “emotional” and “open” on this tour, which showed when he talked about the band’s love for Nile each night.  He also mentioned the hope to get Chic to join them for an Australia tour.

Festivals:

The topic of festivals came up in relation to the question of whether or not the band would return to North America.  John was open by saying that it wasn’t his decision but that he thinks the best way to keep trying to get the album heard is by playing live dates and that festivals mean that people who wouldn’t have heard Paper Gods get to hear it.  Katy then wondered if they might come back to the States next summer for some festivals.  John said that many people would agree with that thinking.  Of course, while understanding this thinking, festivals make me cringe.  I’m too old to enjoy them with all  the discomforts that they bring.

Stevie Wonder:

John talked about how amazing it was to be at the festival in Aspen with Stevie Wonder.  (I, too, thought it was amazing when I got to see Stevie Wonder play at the 2013 Inaugural Ball!)  I smiled throughout his description of watching Stevie perform then meeting him and getting a picture taken with him.  He sounded like many of us do when describing meeting him!

iPhone7:

Yes, they talked about the new iPhone design that is coming out that features the cordless headphones.  Apparently, the phone will also be waterproof, which could be important to people who have had incidents with their phone and water.  (coughRhondacough)

Neurotic Outsiders:

This year marks the 20th anniversary of John’s side project, Neurotic Outsiders.  John shared the story about how the project came together, which is interesting story about they started playing one gig together for a fundraiser before being offered a residency at the Viper Room in LA.  More interesting than that, John discussed where his head was at the time, since the side project began right before he left the band.  He talked about how his ideas with Duran had run out and that he was interested in sticking to LA more.  As someone who is self-described as old school, he also liked (and still does) the idea of a residency.  He described this project as the opposite of Duran.  While Duran is complex, this band was simple.  While they made an album of new material, John felt that the album should  have been them live.

Overall, this Kafe was a joy to listen to.  John sounded very upbeat and positive.  His openness and positivity showed with each topic that came up.  As someone wondering what will be next for Duran Duran, the Kafe provided me with a sense that whatever it will be will be good.

-A

August Katy Kafe with Nick!

Duran Duran Appreciation Day was a little extra special this year.  Not only did fans show how much love there is for the band all over social media, but DDHQ posted a new Katy Kafe.  This one featured Nick!  His presence in the Kafe was VERY welcomed by many as the concern for him has been growing since his departure from the tour in early July.  I have heard many fans ask questions anxiously of anyone and everyone who might know something, anything about what is going on with him.  This questioning, generally, has been done out of love and concern as it is hard for people to sit back and be patient when worried.  Others have attempted to reassure by stating that no news is good news and that Nick is where he needs to be.  The real reassurance came this week, though, when fans could actually hear Nick’s voice for themselves in the latest Kafe.  Hearing his voice put a smile on my face, too!  Soon enough, I was itching to capture the highlights here on the blog.  Of course, if you want to hear it all (and I know you DO!!!) and without my commentary, then make sure you are a member of DuranDuranMusic.com.

Update on Nick’s absence:

Nick reminded everyone that he had to leave the tour to return to England to deal with a family matter and that this was the first time that he had to miss dates.  He is a little concerned that if he doesn’t return soon that Simon will take over the lead for the most times on stage with Duran Duran.  He described it as “relinquishing his crown,” which I thought was super cute!  Then, he apologized for not being at the shows but thrilled that MNDR could stand in for him.  He misses everyone but isn’t sure when he will return.  He felt strongly that the show was in a good place with the lights, the production, the setlist, etc. so he really didn’t want to cancel dates.  (As someone who attended shows, I’m couldn’t be more pleased that they didn’t cancel!)

Bloom Twins:

Nick is writing and producing their album with them and has been over the last 9 months.  The plan is for him to finish when they resume working in September.  He has been enjoying working with them because they are young and open.  Clearly, the implication is that they aren’t jaded about the business like others who are older or more experienced might be.  This is the first band Nick has worked with like this since the Dandy Warhols.   Speaking of projects that he has been working on, he and John hope that the writing for the musical is done this year as well.  (So do I!!)  Interestingly enough, Nick says that the Bloom Twins work really quickly, the opposite of Duran Duran.

MTV Anniversary:

August 1st marked MTV’s 35th anniversary.  Nick talked about how awesome the channel was when it first started.  The channel was started by “young, vibrant, passionate” people who really had a pulse on what was happening.  Whenever Duran showed up, MTV just went with whatever idea Duran came with.  For example, Duran brought Andy Warhol with them one day and that was cool with MTV.  Later, though, the channel shifted to be less flexible and even later became “game show” like.  (Like with so many other things in my life, I find myself wishing that I could have been there to witness those experiences Nick talked about with MTV in person.)  Nick and Katy discussed the possibility of MTV rebooting to once again show videos.  Both didn’t think that was going to work despite Nick’s obvious sadness over the loss of what MTV was.  (I feel his pain as I’m sure most of the people reading this do, too.)

BBC Music Day:

Duran participated in this by playing a show from the Eden Project, which is an attraction focused on plants from different environments, that was then broadcasted for people in the UK to see.  (It is on YouTube now, if you want to watch it for yourself.)  Nick hasn’t seen the broadcast and isn’t very good about watching his own shows.  He does like that the band was able to participate in something new, though.

Appreciation:

Nick sent his appreciation to everyone who has come to see the band on the Paper Gods tour, to all the fans who have been with them “forever” and to all the new fans.  He describes it as “quite a journey.”

2017 Dates??:

When discussing possible dates for 2017, the Far East, Australia and South America were all places mentioned that they need to get to since they haven’t been there yet during this tour.  I’m sure that would make MANY fans very happy!!!

Overall, we didn’t get much in terms of scoops or new information about what is going on behind the scenes.  That said, I, for one, was very glad to hear Nick’s voice and to know that he isn’t giving up his day job anytime soon!  That is something we can all appreciate!

-A

John Taylor in the Kafe!

Wow, I haven’t blogged in forever!  Months, even!  I planned to write a little blog post reflecting my thoughts, feelings and reflections regarding being gone from the blog, writing (or in our case, re-writing) the book, etc.  Fortunately for all of you, John Taylor pushed that blog aside by doing a little video Kafe (or 3!) in the members only section of DuranDuranMusic.  I suffered through (ha!) the videos and will share my thoughts about a few of the highlights here.  As always, I’m sure you all want to watch all of the videos yourself so make sure you are a member and head on over to DDM to see them. I should also point out that most of this Kafe consists of John answering questions sent via Twitter.

Personal Questions:

Book and CD for Summer:  John recommended the book, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, which he describes as a “techno adventure story” with a “history of video games” and a bit of 80s culture.  Simon is now reading it as well.  Personally, this book has popped up a lot for me on recommended lists.  Maybe now is the time to check it out.  As for CD, he recommends d angelo.

Inspiration:  John broke this question down into musical inspiration and personal inspiration.  For musical inspiration, he looks to other musicians like Miles Davis.  Personal inspiration, he turns to his family, especially his parents to remind him to “do the right thing” and “be kind”.

Birthday Memory:  For John, he remembers understanding what a birthday is around 4 or 5 when people came over for a party in their backyard (or back garden in the UK).  He got a yellow truck and had cake!  Aww….

10 People at a Dinner Party:  He hates questions like this and calls it loaded, which I can understand why.  What if he doesn’t include someone?  What if he includes someone people don’t like?  He went with his family, the band and their significant others.  Katy forced him to remove the band, since he sees them all the time.  He said he would like to have his grandparents as he only knew one.  I can relate to that as I only really knew one grandparent (my mother’s mother) and have only vague memories of my grandpa (my mother’s father).  Yet, I never knew my dad’s parents at all and really wish I did being that they were immigrants from Poland and would have fascinating stories to share.

Go back in time to change something:  In general, he really wouldn’t as everything in his life led him to today as he is now very happy.  That said, he wished that he played more sports as a kid and didn’t skip school so much.  He doesn’t understand why he hated being in the classroom so much since he loves learning now.  As a teacher, I wished that he knew and could it explain it to me!  Maybe then I could figure out how to hook my kids who don’t want to come to class.

Now, before I move on to the band related questions, I wanted to just comment on how much I enjoyed his responses on these questions.  I smiled a lot and found myself agreeing quite a bit.  I didn’t as much when it came to the second type of questions.  (Hint:  This is a little foreshadowing.)

Band Related Questions:

Working with Nile and Bernard:  John reiterated statements about working with the two guys from Chic.  He called Nile “enthusiastic” and “supportive”.  Bernard was more “reserved” but “put him at ease”.

The Chauffeur (album version) or The Chauffeur (acoustic demo):  He likes the bass on the acoustic but the album version is a “masterpiece”.

Fondest video memory:  John talked about filming in the videos in Sri Lanka, stating that they had an amazing time.  He mentioned a “beautifully lit” scene at night as they rode an elephant through a city street.  Now, tell me that I’m not the only one seriously wishing that there was a DVD with deleted scenes from their videos?!

After the tour:  He plans for the Paper Gods Tour to last until next year as he hopes to take the tour to South America, Asia and the rest of Europe.  I, of course, am glad to hear that as there are many fans who haven’t had a chance to see them yet and would really like to!  He also said that he hoped the musical that he is working on with Nick gets to the next level.  Exciting!!!!

Most challenging new song:  Most of them he has got down by now, but he probably makes a few wrong notes a night on Last Night in the City since he is playing a synth and Paper Gods and Pressure Off are both “tricky”.  That said, he described What Are the Chances as a “deeply fucking felt emotional song” that he loves playing and loves to hear Simon sing.  Aww…Then, he states that they would love to add more but they are actually cutting the setlist some as the shows will be 90 minutes for this next leg since they will be playing with Chic and Tokimonsta.  Okay.  Here is where I wished he said more and explained it so that I could understand.  Why is there a time limit exactly?  If the venue requires a cut off time, why not move up the start time to play more?  Will they play longer at shows that Tokimonsta isn’t playing at?  Why have three artists on the bill?  Speaking only for myself, I am going to shows to hear Duran Duran play.  I want them to play as long as possible and I don’t think I’m alone in that.  As a customer, I want to feel like I’m getting my money’s worth.  I know that is already a lot of grumbling within the fan community about the shorter sets, lack of variety and the expensive tickets.  This statement doesn’t help.

Would you let the fans decide the setlist:  One of the things about the job that he really loves is building a show and trying to figure out what song works where, next to what, etc. and that he wouldn’t want to let that go.  I can understand that.  I wouldn’t want to let go of a lot of the things we do here, if readers asked to take over.  I get control freaks.  😀  Then, he goes on to say that it would be a lot of work to get songs ready to be played for a fan made list.  Speaking again for myself, while I get that, I also think the pay off would be great!  People would come out in droves for fan created set lists!  Heck, maybe, they don’t want to do an entire set that way, but would about having fans pick out five or six songs that can be rotated in?  I just think it would build committed fans’ enthusiasm, make for better shows and probably sell more tickets.

As someone who has tickets to a lot of shows and who was using the summer tour to reward hard work we did on writing our book, I want to be excited for the shows.  Yet, it is hard to after hearing about the shorter setlist or the lack of variety in songs.  The thing is that I know myself.  I know that if I go into a show being a little less excited, it affects how much fun I have and how good the show is.  Past experience has taught me that.  I want to go in being as excited as possible.  It will help me but it will help those around me be excited, too.  The optimist in me hopes that they rethink these decisions between now and the start of the US date.

 

-A