Tag Archives: Duran Duran Katy Kafe

March 2019 Katy Kafe with Simon

Hi everyone! Happy Tuesday! Just before going to bed last night, I went through the Daily Duranie inbox. It isn’t often that we get extremely pointed reminders from anonymous people, but last night, we did. To be fair, I was happy to have the reminder! I FORGOT THE KAFE! Oops!

Yesterday was crazy, involving now 4-week old chickens figuring out how to fly up and over their 3.5-foot high fencing. Essentially, they were then having free reign of the room where they are currently located. They’re not old enough to be outside of their brooder (think baby crib for chickens!) just yet. I’ll bet none of you can imagine my reaction when opening the door to find a REAL Late Bar party going on amongst the chickies.

My life. I have to laugh. Why would I expect anything less than “baby” chicks escaping??

Anyway, I’m back on my game, the chicks are safely in their appropriate brooder, and I’ve listened to the Kafe! Below are the just the highlights! If you want to listen to the entire Kafe (and you should!) we at Daily Duranie highly recommend getting your own DuranDuranMusic.com membership!

Simon is sick with a cold right now – mentioning that he is bringing a Virus to the Kafe. As am I (Bringing Virus, that is.)

At some point, he starts singing some crazy little tune I don’t think I’ve heard before. That’s only after going after his cat – who is trying to get into a room that is off limits.

Sounds like my house on any given day! First it was dogs and cats, now it’s poultry. I don’t know people…maybe I should start singing crazy obscurities too. Moving on.

Studio time with Mark

Thrilled that Katy asked about the band being in the studio with Mark back at the end of February! After the Vegas shows, and just after Mark won an Oscar, they met in a Los Angeles studio. They did some writing with not only Mark Ronson, but also Lykke Li and Graham Coxon.

It was the first meeting of Graham and Mark, as the band introduced them that day. According to Simon, they did a lot of work – and now it is about seeing how much of it they will actually use. It did not sound as though Mark is acting as the only producer, or even as a producer at all, but rather more of a collaborative writer. although Simon did not go into a ton of detail. As Simon explained, while it sounded great, it is very difficult to discuss the songs because so much changes over the process of writing, recording, etc.

It would be a good reminder here that thousands of hours can go into recording for an album, and only a small percentage may get used. Having your heart set on Mark, or anyone for that matter, being the producer or working with the band on what ends up as the finished product is setting yourself up for certain disappointment. Keeping an open mind is prudent!

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

So, anyone hear that Simon and John have the distinct honor of inducting Roxy Music into the Hall of Fame? The ceremony, which is to take place March 29th at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, should be interesting this year. Roxy Music, Janet Jackson, The Cure, and even Def Leppard (not to play favorites but those are the few I remember off the top of my head) are being inducted this year. I’m looking forward to watching the ceremony at some point.

Simon says he is flattered and very honored to be inducting Roxy Music, as they are crucial to Duran Duran. He feels as though it is a huge responsibility to make sure they are given the credit that is due. He and John will deliver a speech (usually these are incredibly impassioned, and honestly – they are what make the ceremony special, in my opinion). Simon says that John is mostly working on it because he is a massive fan. He has never been to an induction ceremony before, so I’m curious to hear what he thinks of it all after he’s gone.

February Mini Tour

Loved hearing Simon talk about the mini-tour. He commented that the show in Miami was just “okay”. They hadn’t played a 90-minute show in about 18 months (since Japan). I know we had discussions about the length of their set several times during the mini-tour. There were critics who mentioned it as well – to which I responded in a blog right here. Listen, I’m a fan – I would love a four hour long set complete with an intermission! However, this band is made up of humans, not machines. I don’t know how people like Elton John or Paul McCartney do a 3 hour show every night. Maybe they rehearsed for months beforehand, conditioning themselves?

I just know that when Simon feels like he’s got to comment on a Kafe that it has been forever since they played a 90-minute show that maybe, just MAYBE, we need to cut them a little slack. He said that Miami wasn’t that great – I believe he used the word, “okay”, but that they got tighter in Cayman and by the time they hit NOLA they were feeling good and the show felt smooth.

I can understand that, too. Duran Duran doesn’t rehearse a ton. Now, we can certainly have a discussion about whether or not that should be happening more regularly; however, the bottom line is that this isn’t a band that rehearses for months or weeks on end before a tour begins. As they perform shows, they play tighter, and smoother. That’s the way this band rolls!

The set

As we know, they added in a few extras to the set this time around. Seventh Stranger, New Religion, Tempted, and even Friends of Mine. For long-time fans such as myself – this was a dream come true. Simon commented that they like to change things up. “We have quite a huge catalog to choose from, and it would be a real waste to stick to the same 18-20 songs.”

Yes, yes it would.

What I found particularly interesting here though was that Simon said they tried to make Seventh Stranger sound more modern. This was after saying that if they’d written that song today, they would have done it very differently. I don’t know if he felt the song was incredibly dated as is written – but let’s be fair to ourselves a bit here. It was released in 1983, and one can assume it was written at least several months (if not a year or more) prior. Simon followed up by saying they performed it by using the musical technology available today as opposed to the way it was in 1980-something.

A word or two for Simon

Nick tried to get Simon to lip-sync to the video on the screen, and I got the feeling that Simon wasn’t sure if that worked out right. Let me clear that air for him by speaking to Simon directly here. IT WAS FANTASTIC. I can imagine performing it that way, and trying to stay conscious of what was happening on screen might have felt weird, but the full effect of seeing you at 20-something on the larger screen and then right in front of me singing in person blew me away. I’m not a very emotional person (I cry in private thankyouverymuch), but that performance took everything out of me. It was an incredible five minutes that I will never forget. I am not the only one, either. The audience was filled with people sobbing just like me.

That doesn’t happen without a lot of magic, my friend. And that’s what that song and performance(s) were like. Magical. Don’t downplay it, and take my word for it. I can be incredibly hard on this band, but those performances contained some of the moments my heart was craving most. I feel lucky to have been there.

And if that weren’t enough….they announced they’d be playing at Tinderbox in Denmark this year, and Katy says “there may be more this summer”. Stay tuned….

Record Store Day 2019

It is exciting to hear that As the Lights Go Down will be available on pink and blue vinyl as Duran Duran’s RSD offering this year. Humorously though, Simon says he doesn’t remember even recording it. Not a single thing.

I’m sure there’s a joke in here about drugs in the 80s and 90s, or age….but I’m gonna just let it slide for now. (after all, I can remember the words to every Duran Duran song, but can’t remember where I put the TV remote. It was in the cupboard this morning. So….)

He does say though that when he gets his copy, he’ll “give it a go”.

Well, alright then. Just maybe then I will, too.

Simon will be back during the summer, and I can hardly wait to hear what obscurity he’ll sing.

As for me, I’m off to check on some very loud squawking I hear. I can only imagine what I’ll find this time.

-R

Year End Katy Kafe 2018 with Simon

This is it, the final year end Katy Kafe. This one focuses on Simon and his list of the top moments of the year. I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of these and Simon’s does not disappoint. Before I dive into the usual highlights, I recommend going to listen to the Kafe yourself over at DuranDuranMusic.com. Then, you can enjoy it as much as me.

As soon as the kafe began, I could tell that this was going to be a fascinating kafe as Simon explained about slow fruit, which is like a plum but lots smaller. It grows in the UK, which of course is connected to his drink of choice, slow gin. My only reaction to this is that I learn something new everyday. After a few minutes of this, Katy asked about the event of the year. Simon’s reacted by singing a song, a vaudeville song. Well, then. Nope. This kafe was not disappointing. I’m not sure how this is connected to world events but okay. Of course, Simon’s personal event of the year was the birth of his grandson. It is clear that Simon loves, loves, loves taking care of his grandson who is now 6 months old and starting to utter lots of sounds and noise. Now, he would like more grandchildren! Simon also mentioned that the band is back in the studio as a big event. (Yes! Agreed!)

Simon’s movie, “All the Money in the World” was one that he thought was great. (I hadn’t heard of it but it sounds interesting. It is the story of the kidnapping of John Paul Getty and trying to get the family to pay the ransom.) Apparently, there is also a TV version. Interestingly enough, he has not seen Bohemian Rhapsody or A Star is Born. As far as TV goes, he mentioned “A Very British Scandal.” I remember hearing about this, which is about a political leader’s gay affair. Simon says that it is a “must be seen”. He also liked a series called, “Killing Eve.” Currently, he is watching “The Little Drummer Girl.”

As far as books goes, he liked “The Stocking Places,” about a guy from a gypsy family who goes on a journey to understand his culture as well as the negative stereotypes about them. The book helped Simon realize that he had prejudice, too, which is helping him to overcome it. To me, that is a major win. He doesn’t typically read non-fiction but this was one that really made him think. A book of fiction that he liked was Reamde by Neal Stephenson. Apparently, he plans on doing a Simon’s Reader about one of the audiobooks that he has listened to/read. Based on some of the books he talked about, I suspect that the next Simon’s Reader will be very interesting.

Simon’s favorite Duran event of the year was watching the BBC4 Takeover Documentary as much as he loved the perfumes. He enjoyed looking back at the band’s history especially since they don’t get that opportunity much as they are too busy in the moment. In 2019, he is looking forward to the next season of Game of Thrones and the shows in February. Before Katy let Simon go, she asked him the same question she asked everyone about when the album…I mean project will be done. He said that they had a great start with a great team but he cannot predict when it will get done. Fair enough.

Like all the rest of these year end kafes, I enjoyed this one as well. 🙂

-A

Year End Kafe 2018 with John

Yep, I’m still struggling with getting everything done this weekend. Did I mention that I am still Christmas shopping? I’m also still shopping with my dad. Thankfully, I got a few more presents out of the way. Some are definitely going to be late. (Sorry Rhonda!) I’ll be lucky if the ones that I’m supposed to wrap get looked at before Christmas morning. I’m truly awesome.

Nonetheless, I took a break from that insanity to listen to the next year end kafe. This one featured my favorite bass player and yours, Mr. John Taylor. As always, I’ll provide some highlights and my thoughts about those. If you want the whole deal, head over to DuranDuranMusic.com, get a subscription or log in and enjoy for yourselves!

Before I even clicked on the play button, I found myself amused. Why? John came to the kafe with notes. I laughed because I often take notes when I listen to these or when Rhonda and I write or video a blog about a set of shows or tour or something. The notes help us stay focused. I appreciate that we share that in common with John! I continued to feel some kinship with him when he described his event of the year, which was when some place (hard to hear) banned cell phones in school. He mentioned about how tough it would be on teachers to have to deal with those and, as a teacher, I thank him for that and concur. I hate cell phones. Hate them. I wish that the kids at my school would not be allowed to have them as I spend a lot of my day reminding them about the rule, threatening to take them away, etc. It is bad.

From there, Katy moved quickly into movies of the year. To no one’s surprise, he answered with Bohemian Rhapsody. (If you haven’t listened to the previous Kafe with John, he goes into detail there.) Like Nick, he also brought up the movie, Cold War. Based on his description and Nick’s, it is definitely one that I would be up to seeing. As far as TV goes, John mentioned the show, Bosch, about an L.A. homicide detective. One that is on my list to watch that John talked about was the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Someday, I’ll see if his recommendation was a good one!

As far as books go, John brought up a book by Brene Brown entitled The Power of Vulnerability. Interestingly enough, I read another one by the same author called Daring Greatly. I have to admit that I looked it up and it sounds fascinating as the author explored this idea of how vulnerability is often connected to weakness but in reality can lead to amazing experiences and purpose to our lives. John recommended it to anyone who is about to go into something in which there is worry that s/he does not have what it takes. (For the record, I started to think that John had been reading my diary or something as I recently started a new job that I have some knowledge and experience for but not sure if those will translate to the right outcome.) The other book he focused on was Englightenment Now which talks about how far humanity has come in terms of progress. It sounds fascinating and was on my sister-in-law’s wish list.

Katy then moved on to ask about music of the year. John’s response included a shoutout to the new Chic album and how excited he was that Nile Rodgers was able to get new material out. Of course, John listed plenty more but I struggled to keep up, which is how I, too often, feel when it comes to new music and artists, in general.

What about the Duran Duran moment of the year? For him, it was the BBC Takeover Night but he acknowledged that this is tough for other fans around the world but it was good fun for the band. They really enjoyed talking with the other band members about what they were into as kids. John did ask Katy if there was some place online to see it and what I thought was true was confirmed in that there is not Hopefully, BBC will do something with it so more people can see it or see it again. One super funny story that John shared was how Nick’s mom asked after about who had done their hair because they looked “terrible,” according to John. Hilarious! Another fun fact. John does not have any of the Duran perfumes!

John’s personal moment of the year was when he presented at the Brilliant Minds Symposium which John had to step out of his comfort zone to do. He did give a shoutout to Patty Palazzo for helping with the presentation. Sigh. I wished that I could have seen that! Katy would love to be able to share some of that on the band’s YouTube channel. (So would we!)

As far as 2019 goes, he looks forward to the gigs in February. He gave a big ole tease that they are planning a couple of new songs in the set, “assuming the rehearsals go okay”. Please and thank you. Like Nick, John expressed excitement to go back to the writing they had started in November. The plan is to return after the gigs in March. That said, no one is “ready” to admit that they are working on an album “yet.” Fascinating. He said that he suspects that they will be ready to make that statement by spring, which brought a big smile to my face. Katy asked if John agreed with Nick that the album could be done in a year and John hopes so! He would love to be able to celebrate the 40th with a new album. (Again, so would we!) He said that it is possible!

John gave me lots to look forward to! 🙂

-A

Year End Kafe 2018 with Nick

Before I dive into the blog, I wanted to apologize for the lack of a blog post yesterday and the extreme lateness of today’s. My schedule has been beyond crazy and it has taken its toll. This means that I’m trying to catch up and recover all at the same time, which means giving myself permission to not push myself to get things done in a certain time frame. I hope that once I get on track, it will be back to normal.

I suspect that there will be a theme with the blogs this weekend. No, it won’t be holiday related but it will be end of the year related. In December, each band member sits down with Katy for one final Kafe, sharing thoughts about the year as a whole. I always look forward to these as they give some insight about the guys and what they think. (I definitely recommend listening to these yourselves over at DuranDuranMusic.com.) This year’s set of Kafes began with Nick, which is where I will start. Now, of course, I won’t be sharing a word-for-word transcript. I will just provide some things that jumped out to me as well my thoughts and reactions.

Katy starts off by going with the event of 2018. Nick’s answer? It wasn’t about his schedule of art events but was instead the fact that the band returned to the studio in November to start work on some new material. As a Duranie, that was definitely the biggest Duran related event for me, too! It is one that gives many of us hope and something to look forward to! Plus, he said that they were “starting to capture something quite special.” Goodness, let’s hope so! Nick mentioned that they have been working with a producer, Erol Alkan, who recently worked on the last studio album from the Killers. Nick described him as understanding Duran like Mark Ronson and pushing their limits. (That all sounds fabulous to me!) Nick went on to discuss what the role of the producer is, which I found myself relating to as being a campaign manager is similar in that both are trying to get the best out of people.

Of course, Nick did comment on some of the art exhibitions that he enjoyed over the year. While I did not know about most of the specific exhibitions he mentioned outside of the Picasso show at the Tate Modern, I made a note to go and see some art soon as there is always something magical about art exhibits and museums. Maybe something I could and should do during my winter break.

The Kafe moved on to discuss movies and Nick declared that he was very behind in watching the movies that will be a part of the Oscars. (As I’m sure most of you know, Katy and Nick do a special on their Oscar choices.) Two movies that Nick raved about were Cold War and First Man. I would be interested in seeing both of those. Anyway, talking about First Man led Nick to talk about a visit to Florida to see some sort of museum about the history of the U.S. space program. From there, the two discussed movies that they have seen and would like to see. Much like the discussion about art exhibits, hearing the conversation made me want to watch more movies.

Katy did ask about TV shows and Nick admitted that he wished he watched more TV because he understands how awesome the shows that are being produced are these days. He has some things he would like to see but hasn’t, including the documentaries shown on BBC earlier this year about them! Similarly, Nick defers Katy to Simon to get the bigger scoop when it comes to books. That said, he did share some of the recent books he has purchased.

Nick does share some Duran highlights, which included the studio work, the BBC Takeover Night, and the fragrances created based on four Duran songs. Nick’s favorite? Skin Divers. Katy’s? Hungry Like the Wolf. Finally, Nick hints that some projects that they have been working on will take the next steps in 2019, including the musical with John, the work with the Bloom Twins, Nick’s art book project, his Japanese post-war documentary along with more studio work those shows they are doing in February. (Nick says that they are all really looking forward to those. So are we!!) By the way, Nick says that they will not be in the studio for 3 years this time. (Let’s hope!)

Of course, if you are interested in reading some of what Nick has shared on here, I recommend heading over to the band’s official website where you can read his list.

-A

John Taylor in the November 2018 Katy Kafe

I know that this blog post is late, both in terms of time and in terms of date.  Today has been the dreaded Sunday, the day of the week before I go back to work.  While I had a tremendously wonderful Thanksgiving, I opted not to do much around the house.  This, of course, is great for awhile but now…I’m trying to do 85 things at once.  I really hoped to be all caught up by the time I returned to work but…I don’t think that will happen.  I figured I would squeeze in some time to listen to this month’s Kafe (days late) and blog about my reaction.  Funny thing is that when I went to go listen to it, I discovered that I needed to renew my membership.  I did without question, which is good because there is nothing better than listening to a Katy Kafe yourself.  I definitely recommend it for this one, too, as I’m just covering some highlights and my thoughts.

This particular kafe focuses on Queen, both the band and the movie. John begins by talking about how much he loved the movie and thought it was a wonderful tribute.  (I saw it on Friday and totally agree.)  John had been lucky enough to have been friendly with Freddie Mercury and seeing the movie reminded him of the person Freddie was and those times.  I love that John shared a fun Duran fact.  Apparently, on the day Duran signed to EMI, the record label took the band to Wembly to see Queen play.  (I love stories like that.)  He goes on to say that while he does not list Queen as an influence, he knows that he wouldn’t be where he is now without them and that he always think about their live performances when playing large stadiums or festivals.

From there, Katy asked John various questions that fans submitted.  As I stated previously, I’m definitely not going to list every question and answer.  I’m just writing about the ones that hit me.  The first one focused on a photo of John and Freddie that has been floating around the internet.  Apparently, they went to the same musical and later partied together at the after party.  (I’m sure that would have been interesting to be at!)  Speaking of, I thought it was interesting that he and Nick called themselves fans of Queen and saw them when they came to Birmingham.  That said, by the time Duran came onto the scene, they weren’t considered as cool, according to John.  I am sure that there are many bands in my life that I might describe in the exact same way.

Queen did a musical called, “We Will Rock You.”  Duran would be interested in doing something like that but John thinks that it would be really difficult to get it right.  As a fan, I would love it but I think John’s point is valid.  It isn’t easy but if anyone could do it right, I think it might be Duran!  Go-Gos just did one!  Who knew?!

As far as songs goes, if John had to pick one Queen one, he would go with Bohemian Rhapsody.  As far as covers go, he could hear Queen performing Ordinary World and do it well.  Duran could play Radio Ga Ga, especially in a live show.  Hmm…

Of course, the question was asked about who could play John Taylor if there was a movie about Duran.  His answer won’t surprise anyone I don’t think  by saying no one he could think so.  He thinks it matters if they get the rest of the band right in order to get him right, which makes sense.  John quickly moved on to talk about the scenes in the movie with the band,  their dynamics and how much he loved them.  I felt the exact same way as they reminded me of all to the scenes I have watched over the years with Duran from Sing Blue Silver to Live from London and more.  Band dynamics are so interesting to me.

The final question asked was about Live Aid.  John was saddened when in the movie there is a listing of all the bands who were going to be playing and Duran wasn’t listed but REO Speedwagon was.  (Again, I have to agree.)  I do wonder why the movie didn’t mention Duran since they were so popular at that time.  Anyway, a part of John wished that they had played in London but loved the experience they had in Philadelphia.

John summarizes the movie by saying it is about “Freddie’s uniqueness” and the specialness of bands.  It reminds people that even with the greatness of Freddie, he still needed the band and vice versa.  I pointed out the exact same thing after having watched the film.  This led John to talk about how we are no longer living in an era of “the band” as technology fills in so much for artists now and Queen represents the golden era of “the band.”

The end of the kafe reveals one giant scoop on the Duran front which is that John is heading back to London next week to join the band in the studio!  This makes me even more excited for the next kafe which will feature all band members!  Who knows what we can learn then!

-A

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