Tag Archives: Duran Duran shows 2019

January 2019 Katy Kafe with John Taylor

Lately, timing has been on my side. The Vegas weekend comes at a perfect time in that it is right after the primary for the campaign I’m working on. This will give me a great break before I have to push it hard for the general election in April. Now, on a smaller scale, this Katy Kafe comes at a good time as I was thinking about what to write about for a blog today. On that note, let me explain that I won’t be giving a full transcript here. Far from it. No, I’ll share the highlights and my thoughts about them. If you want to listen for yourself to see Mr. John Taylor had to say, then I recommend heading over to DuranDuranMusic and get a membership for yourself.

The conversation started with a brief discussion about New Year’s Even. JT was in London, apparently, and was able to get out, go dancing, etc. but it wasn’t like when he was young. The fun just isn’t the same. I completely relate to that.

The format to this kafe is simple in that fans send in questions on social media. Obviously, Katy did not ask all of them but give quite a few. The first question was about letters and whether or not he has any special ones and the last one he has written. He got a letter from the Obamas for his 50th birthday, which he thinks is pretty cool. (So do I!) All of the band members have a letter from Prince William and Prince Henry for their participation in the concert for Diana. John also saved letters from his daughter, which is sweet. The last ones he has written might be to his kids or just those letters of recommendation. (This reminds me that I have a letter of recommendation to write myself.)

The next question focused on a song that he hasn’t played in a long time but wants to. According to John, they have “dusted off” a couple for the shows in February. One that he has been practicing has not been played since the Arena tour. This, of course, has me thinking. I have some ideas but I won’t spoil anyone with my speculation! Personally, I would love hearing a new (old) song or two. I will definitely be on my toes in Vegas now!

Speaking of playing new material, one question asked about how often John plays at home. Here’s is where I learned something new. John has been taking piano lessons and learning how to read music. Not only do I think it is cool but I like the idea that he wants to keep learning. I can relate as I have been learning a lot about how to run an effective local campaign. Obviously, now, though, he has to get back to playing the bass to get ready for the February shows, which really are coming up quickly now!

How does John keep creative projects separate? He thinks that the various projects can provide inspiration for other projects and “create creative confidence.” My mom as a fiber artist definitely functions like this in that she always has a number of projects going. That said, he did admit that he often takes on more than he can chew and leaves projects undone. Again, I can relate. Rhonda and I have had a lot of projects that we have started that haven’t seen the finish line. Someday.

Of course, people wanted to know how the new music is going? John said that when they got into the studio before Christmas, everyone was ready, which made it good. He mentioned how they were working with a new producer and some new musicians who they had never worked with before. They plan to return to the studio at the end of February. Those new musicians made me wonder, I’ll admit. Who? Why? Hmm…

Someone asked about an artistic forum that John has not tried would like to. His response? Contemporary dance. This created quite an image for Katy and for me as I thought about his dancing during Danceophobia during the Paper Gods tour. He then clarified to say that he would like to create the music for contemporary dance. That said, maybe he would pick up painting once he retired to the British countryside. He wouldn’t be the first to do such a thing.

Bothered that people judge success based on charts? They benefited in the 1980s from charts. Now it is more about one’s sense of self and one’s own standards. Hard and painful when not on the charts but after a few cycles, you get over that. Now it is about numbers on social media, etc.

Here was an interesting question. What 3 words describe you as a young man and what 3 words describe you now? For when he was young, he said, “shy, happy, gangly(???).” (Anyone hear that last word clearly?) As for now, he said interesting, grateful, happy.

Along the same lines, what are three things we don’t know about you? Katy answered for him by saying that she didn’t know that he was so tall, so smart, and had such a big heart. John talked about how he is clothes horse and tries to be trendy, likes to collect books and misses his parents every day. Both of those answers made my heart swell a little bit.

The last question that interested me is whether or not the band can and does realize the influence they have had on their fans? John’s response indicated that they don’t want to pat themselves on the back too much or allow themselves to get big heads but he does admit that he has been touched by particular stories. He also loves how the band is a connector in that they brought people who wouldn’t be friends otherwise who now go to shows together and visit each other. Hmm…that sounds familiar. Very familiar. Yep, that lines hits close to home.

On that note, I thoroughly enjoyed this particular kafe. I give a lot of props to the questions people sent in as they were all awesome. I can never think of anything when offered something like that so good for all of you! I also appreciated that John suggested people send in their questions again if they didn’t get them asked now. Good for him. On that note, I’m going to go knock on doors in negative degree temperatures. Wish me luck!

-A

I’ve Been Fighting All the Way

In a month, I’ll be in Las Vegas.

I can’t decide if I’m ready as-is, or if I should immediately resort to a month-long fasting exercise. It is a joke to me now, but in the past…I may have been at least half-serious. It’s weird, because I don’t mind admitting that my prep for previous tours included being semi-obsessed with making sure I looked my best. I worried about how I looked to other people. I would shop for new outfits, get my hair done well in advance, go have a pedicure, and of course – I would make certain I was at fighting weight. (or dancing weight, as the case may be)

I’m really not sure what “my best” means these days. Honestly, “alive” seems like a pretty good goal to me. My friend Lori and I were having drinks (training) and dinner last night (can I just say how wonderful it is to actually LIVE near a good friend?!?) and as I sat there, thinking about the upcoming weekend, I realized that for the very first time that I can remember, I am not worried about what I look like.

I mean sure, I need to lose a few pounds. I ALWAYS need to lose a few pounds. I’m not perfect, and I’m not a size 2, either. My weight is a struggle. The number on the scale is in direct correlation with how much stress I’m under at the time, and what my blood pressure is like. I have never been thin, though. I’m just average to “I’ve got a little extra padding because I fall down a lot!”, so this struggle isn’t new. The weird thing is, for the first time in forever, I don’t mind what I see when I look in the mirror. I’m satisfied. Happy, even. For me…that’s bizarre. Good, but bizarre.

There have been moments where I’ve wondered if I’m even that excited to go see Duran Duran, because I haven’t been overly obsessed with what I’m going to wear or what I’m going to pack. But then, I’ll hear a Duran-song or I’ll think about seeing them walk on stage and I can feel a little bit of that familiar giddiness. Yep, excitement is still in there. I just know I’m going to roll on into Vegas, and I’m going to have a good time with my friends. I guess my goal is to be happy with what I see in the mirror, rather than worry about what anyone else is going to see when I walk into a room.

Insecurity is a strange thing. Admitting that I have been insecure about myself more often than not leaves me pretty vulnerable, I suppose. I know it would be fairly easy for people to dismiss me because of that imperfection. Insecurity isn’t attractive, but I’m betting that more of us suffer from it than we individually might believe.

In the past, I worried about how posting that sort of thing might make me look to readers. The funny (well, not so funny) thing is that once you admit that you were well on the way to being suicidal last year – you kind of don’t give a shit about what people say or think anymore. Once you’ve gotten through that particular alley of darkness, you’re so thankful to see the sun again that you don’t want to waste a single second on people who don’t get it. Yeah, I’ve been insecure. My validation came from other people, not from myself, or from within. Oh well!

It can’t possibly be age that has forced my change in outlook and attitude. That would be crazy! I think though that the past year, feeling so incredibly low about everything, and then coming out of that, has given me a different prospective. Things I thought were important before really might not be, after all. I’m learning to say “Oh well” a lot. Truth is, I never want to feel like I did last year ever again. No matter what.

I think back to something that a dear friend of mine told me while we were traveling in 2012. She reminded me to never let anyone take my bliss away. I think about that statement nearly every single day. She probably doesn’t even remember saying the words to me, but I do. I’ve carried them all this time, and they’ve proven very useful lately.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have a long way to go, I suppose. It is easy to fall back into old habits. I am sure I’ll still swoon if a band member even sort of appears to look my way. There’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll smile at the band and welcome smiles in return. I mean, let’s not get ridiculous here.

-R


‘Tis the Season

Yes, I suppose that is a strange title to use since it is almost mid-January but it feels appropriate to me. Why is that? There are a couple of big reasons for this. First, Rhonda and I finally exchanged Christmas gifts. Second, those Vegas shows are right around the corner, which means not only will we get to see some shows but also have an opportunity for some of our more common antics…

Over the course of my friendship with Rhonda, we have come up with some pretty good gifts for each other. Unsurprisingly many of our gifts to each other relate or connect to Duran Duran or being Duranies. This year was no different. Rhonda got me a really amazing necklace that looks like a cool pendant while at the same time says the names of the band members over and over again. I look forward to wearing it as I assume that I’ll be wearing it a lot on tour! The one item that I got Rhonda that I think fits the best with what will be coming up is a little 8 ounce flask that I gave her. It is even personalized in that it is the property of the Daily Duranie. Ha!

As Rhonda and I chatted (or skyped as the case may be), it became clear that the time to give that band a hard time is coming. In fact, the first show in Vegas is 6 weeks from today. 6 weeks to give those five guys a hard time. We cannot wait. What do we mean by that? Well, the best explanation might be to review some of our finer moments of the Paper Gods Tour (and more).

Our Setlists

Suggested set list for Hollywood Bowl

Now, we have said that we will not criticize the band over the songs that they decide to play. We will be okay if the setlist is exactly the same as the last show we saw. There will not complaints or long diatribes about why setlist changes matter. Nope. We promise to be good. For the most part. Even though we won’t complain, we still might offer some suggestions in the form of a setlist. I’m certain that the band will appreciate having us come up with songs and order for them. You’re welcome, Duran Duran.

Pants

Truth be told, there were a lot of sentences written, video blogs recorded and more that focused in on the band’s outfits. I, especially, was drawn to talking about John’s pants. Now, some might say that he made it darn easy to tease him since they were so noticeably short. Then, of course, when the picture above appeared, it provided us a little challenge to find our own pants. This is what we came up with. Good times, indeed.

Enthusiasm

Chula Vista

Once upon a time, Rhonda and I sang our hearts out in between our screams and comments welcoming people to the band. We were so into the show that people in front of us turned around to comment about how enthusiastic we were. I certainly look forward to being so in the moment that I appreciate every look, every silly dance move, every ridiculous facial expression and more. We will certainly let them know what we love and what we find hilarious. Oh yes, we plan to bring it and we expect the band to bring it right back in whatever fashion that they choose.

Can’t hit me, Simon!!!

Yes, this might be a risky move since we are center for both shows but we are willing to face that music. Someday, we just might bust out an umbrella or raincoat at just the right moment say…during White Lines. No one will be able to say that we did not provide a warning.

On that note, I cannot wait to see what will come next. Will there be more lime green shoes? I cannot even imagine but I am looking forward to it all!

-A


The Lights Turn On

Today is the final day of my “vacation.” I put vacation in quotes because it has not really been a vacation in the traditional sense. No, I did not go to work, at least at the main paying job. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t work. In fact, I took one day off. One. Christmas was the only day that I did not do work for school, for my teaching career. I had a lot of grading to do. It was important to get as much of this grading done as possible for a couple of big reasons. First, the end of the semester is quickly approaching. This means that not only will I have to enter quarter grades but I will soon be giving finals. I will have to grade those, too. Second, I have an extremely busy schedule coming up as I am also working for a campaign for the spring election. This means that I have lots of tasks to do and many meetings and events to attend. Next week, for example, the only days I don’t have campaign related activities are Monday, Thursday and Friday. I’m already tired. Am I sad that this break is coming to an end? Extremely. I could have used a day more or five just to chill.

On top of grading on top of grading, I did get my house really clean, which felt so good as it had been months since that has happened. I also got some other household chores done like cleaning the coffee pot. More importantly to this blog, I finally purchased a plane ticket to Vegas. Of course, I practically have to sell a kidney in order to afford it but I assure myself that it will be worth it. And it will.

This weekend in February literally happens right after the primary here in Wisconsin, which marks the half way point of this campaign I’m working on. What a perfect time to get away! I am hoping that it act as a reward for the hard work so far and give me the break necessary to regroup, recharge to finish out the job. Why do I need a break with shows? Why couldn’t I just take a day or two to relax? Well, did I mention that I spent my entire winter “break” working? That should answer that question. If I am at home or anywhere near home, I will work. It is in my nature to do so. Therefore, I need a serious intervention to get me to stop. The only thing that will do that is a tour or in this case, a mini-tour.

I am not sure exactly why tours or mini-tours provide the complete escape for me but they do. Is it a change of scenery? I don’t think that is it. I have gone to visit friends or family out of state and I still take grading or other work with me. Is it being surrounded by friends? Again, I don’t think that does it. If I was really worried about getting tasks done, I would work on them even around friends. I have done it before. If I had to make a guess at what does it, I would say it is the whole thing. I am away from home, sure. I am also with friends but in a setting in which the band is playing. I have heard many interviews in which John Taylor has said something along the line that when they are on tour it is all about the show. This is a sentiment that I can relate to. When I’m on tour, it is all about that. It is like something all encompassing. My senses are filled with sights and sounds related to having fun, seeing my favorite band, and more. My thoughts become fixed on to fandom related activities and ideas.

Therefore, I’m looking forward to the real break in my working action. If that was not enough, I’m anxious to reconnect with my friends and work on meeting and getting to know others. Speaking of that, it appears that we will be in town on that Thursday night. I’m sure that we will be partying it up somewhere. Watch this space along with our social media to see where and when, if you would like to join us!

-A

I Try to Hold the Rising Floods

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a little blog about how I am concerned that my fandom might be dying. In this blog, I explained how I wasn’t falling out of love with Duran Duran. No, I fully expect that I will always be a fan but I wondered if I was on my way out when it comes to the rest. What do I mean by the rest? Would I still want to go to shows? Would I want to talk about the band with other fans? Would I be interested in planning fan events? Would I stop buying Duran merchandise? Would I want to stop writing here? I could go on and on. The basic idea is that I might stop being part of a community of fans.

After that blog, I didn’t think too much about it. I didn’t worry or fret. I just decided to continue with what I needed to get done. After all, it was a busy time of year with my two jobs and planning for Christmas. Since then, though, I have taken some time to just get caught up. This means that I have really cleaned my house. The Christmas presents were purchased or created and shipped off, when necessary. I made appointments and planned out the next month or so. On top of that, I listened to some year end Katy Kafes and updated the day in Duran history that Rhonda and I keep for this blog. Every time I checked off one item from my do list, I felt better. My list isn’t done even with my almost two full weeks off but the list is a lot smaller. I’m feeling less overwhelmed.

Since my stress has eased some, I am better able to examine where things are in terms of fandom. Overall, I feel like things are better. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the Kafes and found myself smiling throughout them all. The idea of #DD15 gave me some excitement, no matter when it ends up getting done. Honestly, I think that is part of what has made this so tough for me. I have not had much to be excited about when it comes to my fandom. Now, I’m not new to this gig. I know how it goes. It isn’t like there is going to be something in Duraland each and every day that will thrill me. I know this. I recognize and even understand downtime. Heck, I’ve been so busy that I am almost glad that there hasn’t been a lot. I don’t think I would have been able to enjoy it much. It might have even added stress. Nonetheless, I miss having something Duran related to look forward to.

Now, those of you who have been reading this blog know that I do have something Duran related to look forward to. I have a couple of shows coming up in February. My friend, Lori, reminded me that there are less than 50 days until them even. I have to admit that I haven’t given them much thought. Again, I might give the lack of time as the reason and I wouldn’t be lying to say so. But it is more than that. I have missed the friendships that I have grown to associate with Duran Duran and my fandom. It used to be that when there were shows coming up that is all my friends and I would talk about. We became broken records with silly ideas and inside jokes. We had nothing but fun to look forward to. Now, it is different. We don’t talk very much. I wish that we did more, for sure, but I cannot control that. It is hard to develop those funny moments when there aren’t many chances to do so. It seems that we are all busy and have different priorities, for sure. That said, February will be fun. I have no doubt about that. I’m not sure it will be the same kind of good time. It might be more about that escape from reality rather than just letting it all go for a few days. It might be more about the lack of responsibilities as opposed to screaming for band members.

As I type all this, I cannot help but feel older, more settled, less wild. I have worked hard in the last year or so to find that ordinary world that we all crave. I think I have succeeded in that but the one I have made for myself doesn’t have a lot of time and space for my Duran Duran fandom. It felt like something that had to be pushed to the side. Yes, part of that is because I had and have more pressing concerns, but another part is that I didn’t trust that it would be there if and when I reached for it. It began to feel like something in my past rather than my present or my future. Listening to those Kafes made me realize that this feeling wasn’t about the band at all. I still love them to pieces. I look forward to seeing more Duranlive or hearing new music. It had more to do with my life and where I placed fandom in my list of priorities and why. It was still there but much smaller with little reinforcement besides what I got from writing on here.

I’m still not freaking out about any of this. This feeling I have may change. It may grow strong and fandom will take up less and less of my time and my heart. It could also be a situation in which the tiny flame that is barely there might be turned back up to a torch that all can see. Time will tell. Until I know which way for sure, I’ll keep holding the rising flood back from drowning what is left.

-A

Happy New Year 2019

Since today is a holiday, I (Rhonda) am writing to wish everyone a wonderful New Year from both Amanda and myself. May 2019 be filled with hope, joy, love, great health, fantastic friends, and amazing music.

We hope to see many of you in Las Vegas when the band performs there in February. We haven’t been able to plan a full convention for that weekend, but we are still hoping to pull together a party. Watch this space. If anyone is able to lend a hand or give a little time to make it happen – drop us a line. We’d certainly appreciate the help!

I don’t really do New Year resolutions. There have been goals for past years, but I don’t really have writing plans, or career aspirations right now. This year, I’m hoping to focus on getting my family settled, and using the year as a sort of personal rediscovery and relaunch! Rest assured that I’ll still be blogging about Duran Duran. We’ll see where the year takes us!

Have a wonderful New Year’s Day. As you read this, I’m making breakfast and watching the Rose Parade with my kids. Later, I think we’re going to take a hike on one of the nearby trails. I also need to take down holiday decorations, and then I have to get ready for school to begin tomorrow.

For the first time since I began homeschooling, we are going to be doing it all at home on our own. In the past, my youngest has gone to a learning or resource center twice a week. That’s given her a chance to have a break from me and make friends. I’m hoping to eventually get back to that kind of schedule (if not have her go back to a traditional school), but at least for now, it’s all home, all the time.

Not sure if I should be asking for people to send vodka or prayers…or both. I’ll let you know how that’s going in the coming weeks…

Cheers, everyone!!

-R


You Had Plans All Along

If someone asked you what your greatest strength or talent was, what would you say?  I’m not talking about the skill or quality for a job interview, even though it could be used at work as well.  No, I’m thinking about the essential element of who you are and when you are using this, it feels good and right.  Would Simon say that he is an entertainer?  What about Nick?  Or John?  Would they say artist?  Multi-media specialist?  The past week has made me think a lot about what mine is.  This skill or quality I am thinking of is used here with fandom, at work and during political actions or campaigns.

Some of you have guessed that it is organization.  I thrive in situations which require organization.  To me, there is nothing better than when I have worked hard to organize something and it goes well.  I feel that way at work when I plan a great lesson.  I definitely feel that way when political campaigns result in a win for my candidates.  Likewise, I love when I am able to organize surrounding my fandom.  Over the last eight years or so, Rhonda and I have found ourselves organizing various fan events from simple meet ups to online parties to a full-blown weekend convention.  Each time those events went well, I felt successful.  Sometimes, like with the convention, Durandemonium, successful doesn’t adequately describe how I felt afterwards.  I was on top of the world, ready to do more.  I mean, who doesn’t like it when the core of who they are helps to create something fun?

As you all know, Rhonda and I have been thinking about doing something like a mini-convention in Las Vegas during the weekend that the band is playing there in February 2019.  We have brainstormed some ideas and have sought out information.  Hopefully, we will be able to figure out something definite soon so that we can share and start signing people up!  Here is what I can tell you.  Right now, we are thinking about doing something Thursday night as a welcome party of sorts.  Then, we would have activities during the day on both Friday and Saturday.  Obviously, Friday and Saturday nights would be taken up with the shows themselves.

For those of you who were not at the convention in 2013, some of the activities we had included get to know you games (Duran style), other Duran related games, video viewing, book talks and a party.  If you were at Durandemonium, what did you think of those activities?  Which did you like best?  If you weren’t at that convention, what sounds good to you?  What are some other suggestions you might have?

We would like to get the ball rolling for whatever we do in Vegas as quickly as we can for various reasons, including to reserve a space, start planning the activities and make sure that everyone knows that they should come in on Thursday to party with us!  Nothing is obviously definite as there are lots of factors that we need to consider before we totally commit to it, but I am feeling optimistic.  Maybe, it is just my desire to use those organizational skills but I don’t think so.  Is there anything much better than a bunch of Duranies hanging out together and having fun?  I don’t think so!

-A

No Time for Worry

So maybe you have heard that Rhonda and I have shows coming up in 2019.  Yes, I admit that we are very fortunate.  I acknowledge the fact that there are many, many, many fans that are nowhere near as lucky.  I wish that every Duran fan had shows to look forward to.  In thinking about this, I’m going to take a minute or two here to simply be grateful that, at least right now, when it comes to Duran, I’m lucky.  Lately, I have been feeling like anything but in the rest of my life.  Life has been hard.  I have spent much of my energy just working my way back from holes of unhappiness just to “okay” status.  Happiness is not a word I use or have used for a long time.  Needless to say, I need some joy.

When the three shows (one in New Orleans and two in Vegas) were announced, I did not hesitate to pass that information on to Rhonda in an “official Duranie alert” capacity.  When the information popped up, I didn’t stop and think about any potential negatives.  For example, I wouldn’t say that we had a great time at the last show at the Chelsea in December of 2017 due to a giant standing in front of us blocking our view and a number of potential fights almost breaking out.  I chose not to even think about a repeat of that show.  Likewise, I didn’t stop and complain that these shows were once again in Vegas.  While I’m able to get there, I admit that it would be nice for me to not have to fly.  The Midwest, I hear, is lovely!  (Hint!)  Just sayin’.  I heard that some fans questioned whether or not the setlist and performance would be much different from the Paper Gods Tour.  Nope, that thought did not really enter my mind.  Why is that?  I suspect a lot of it is my need for joy but also just being grateful that I will get another show, another weekend with friends.

I have been thinking about how life was ten or even a few years ago.  I have to admit that I remember myself complaining about various things, including work, politics, parents, etc.  Looking back, I clearly didn’t realize how lucky I had it.  Sure, there are always things that can be improved, made better, fixed but I wish I understood then that things could also be a lot worse.  In hindsight, I don’t think I appreciated how good life was then.  Things felt easier.  No, they were not perfect but better than they are now as so many aspects of my life have just gotten tougher, harder, more challenging.

Funny enough, when thinking about Duran, I am willing to bet that I did the exact same thing.  When I look back to different eras like Astronaut and All You Need Is Now, I have a lot of fondness.  Some of the best memories and moments took place during those album cycles.  Yet, if you read this blog in 2011 and 2012 or even 2013, you probably didn’t see me being super grateful.  In all honesty, I suspect that there might have been some criticism.  While I still think that there can be room for improvement when it comes to Duranland, I no longer am or want to be the person that picks out all of the band’s flaws.  No, they are not perfect.  Yes, they could grow in multiple ways.  But I have a choice.  Do I want to just complain or enjoy what I have?

Sure, I could vent some frustration over Ticketmaster because it truly does suck or spew continued annoyance by the lack of setlist changes.  Those would be valid criticisms.  Yet, I have so many other things to worry about than every little crappy aspect of being a fan of this band.  Instead, I would rather embrace the joy, the fun, the friendship, the escape that Duran shows and tours brings.  So, you won’t hear me complain about the setlist or the venue in February.  No, I’m just going to be dang happy to be there.

-A