Tag Archives: Duran Duran shows

The Wild Boys are Calling

On their way back from the fire

So, Kensington Palace was apparently the place to be last night. Anybody there? My invite was lost in the mail again. Rats! I heard it was some sort of investors conference. I have to admit wondering about how raucous that crowd could have possibly been. The visions I have of it floating in my head center around they idea that they’re already at a palace, which would seem a bit stuffy for an atmosphere. What would I know anyway? I’m American. We don’t have palaces here!

Amidst the tweets and posts concerned with what they played and why they were playing, there were a fair number lamenting the fact that they played at all. “Oh, a secret show again?”…”They sure seem to do an awful lot of these.”…”When are they going to play a REAL show in England?” and my favorite… “So they DO know where the UK is then, apparently.

They tried to break us

Despite chuckling at some of them, because I really do appreciate good sarcasm…I couldn’t help but notice those that questioned why the band plays so many of these types of shows. I’ve written about it several times in the past. Yet, it still continues to come up every single time they play a corporate or private gig. I even saw a few people saying that they wish the band just wouldn’t say anything about playing these gigs at all, which struck me as a bizarre request. Is it fair to assume the band has sold out for money?

As a primer here – the band is a business. LIKE IT OR NOT. I don’t know of a single band out there that doesn’t need to make a little money here and there. Bands pay for studio time. They pay producers, engineers, session players (session guitarists!)…and that’s just the beginning. Once the album is made, and they pay all of those people along the way, the album has to sell in order for the band to make money. It is far more complicated than I’m willing to get into, but this is the basic idea. Albums don’t sell the way they did in the 80s. Spotify sure as heck doesn’t pay well, either. So now what? They tour.

Tours are expensive. The outlay of money just to get going is tremendous. Think of it this way, every single thing needed to even tour – right down to the duct tape used to adhere the paper set lists to the stage floor – is paid for by Duran Duran. It’s not like that stuff is donated! Anyone who has done any reading lately should know that bands make more money touring than through album sales. (don’t read this as they make a lot of money – most do not!) Even so, do they make enough to pay for studio time? Management? Sales? Marketing people? Bloggers?

Ok…not bloggers. Just kidding. I was just checking to see if you’re paying attention!!

Looks like they’ll try again

So then what? Sir Spends-a-Lot calls management and says “Hey, I will pay Duran Duran a boatload of cash if they come and play at my private gig!” Management replies by saying, “We will need TWO boatloads, thank you!” Sir Spends-a-Lot thinks it over and then responds. “Fine! I’ll Venmo you!” (Ok, I’m joking about that. The Venmo part, anyway. I just thought it was funny.)

Duran Duran is now booked to play a private gig for two boatloads of money. They’re not supposed to announce it because the gig is private, and apparently Spends-a-Lot doesn’t want 5,000 Duranies showing up at his house. I can’t imagine why. But hey, the band will have a ton of money in their bank account just in time to pay whatever big name producer shows up in their studio next! (I was going to make a joke here about Timbaland, but I decided to skip it. Overkill, you know.)

Anyway… the process just isn’t nearly as pretty as we all want to believe.

Bloodstain for your pain

Fans seem to have this romanticized vision of a band that isn’t in it for the money. They love playing. They would live in their cars to be able to play for their fans. It’s ALL for the fans and the love of music. Gosh, that’s a lovely fantasy.

Listen, I have no doubt that some of that drives the band. I mean, they’re not ogres. Of course they love what they do. My husband loves working developing and managing products for a fancy speaker company, but he also needs to pay his bills. His wife – that would be me – insists on it, actually. That said, it is just silly to think they aren’t looking to make money.

Even if Simon, John, Nick and Roger agreed that they would never again make a dime from Duran Duran, I highly doubt the people who work for them would agree to the same terms! From the touring musicians, roadies and techs, right down to the people who answer phones in the office – everybody needs to be paid. Those people aren’t in the business for the “art”. They’re trying to make a living and pay their bills. Most of those people don’t even get to have fun at the shows, either!

While you’re dancing in the rain

Here is the real problem, as I see it. For you and I – the fans, that is – listening to music, going to live shows, and even social media is all just FUN. Concerts ARE fun. Amanda and I have said countless times that we wish we could tour for a living. That is because on our end, it really is all fun and games. We aren’t responsible for much other than getting ourselves to a venue and into our seats on time. (And, I might add that we barely managed to even do that successfully while in Vegas!!) I think we forget that while it is all about having a good time for us, it is not the same thing for the band. Part of that is by design. We’re supposed to be able to forget about real life, and we do! The band though, is a different story.

They have shows every night, and each time they need to look like they’re having as much fun as they did the night before. If they’re sick, if they’re tired, if they’re hungover – the show happens anyway. I just think we have to remember that for most of us, it is a show or two (or five), then we go home and back to real life. For the band – that really IS real life. It is their job, however much “fun” we think it must be.

Where is glory

Maybe I’m weird. I can accept that. I like knowing about the private gigs. Knowing about their corporate shows makes me smile, even if I’m not personally going to be at any of them. Even if I didn’t write Daily Duranie, I’d be happy hearing that they’re playing live. It keeps their engine oiled, and it’s good to know they’re doing something. Sure, I wish they were playing more regular shows. Who doesn’t? That all costs the band a lot more money though than playing a private or corporate gig…or even a festival.

Yeah, downtime is tough. I think we can even qualify it as boring for a lot of fans. We get anxious when we see shows for people that probably don’t appreciate them. I also know that people in the UK are beyond miffed that a band from their own damn country hasn’t bothered to play a single show in many months (years). This blog isn’t directed at those people or that issue. That’s something different, and I don’t have answers that anyone is going to like or accept. I wish I did.

-R

I’ve Been Now Sauntering

Hey, do you remember that time in 1984 when New Moon on Monday reached #10 on the US charts?? Believe it or not, that happened on today’s date, just a mere 35 years ago.

It takes me nowhere

Well, that should start your Monday off on the right footing of nostalgia along with the ever-familiar feeling of “How in the hell can that have been 35 years ago? I’m barely 30.” Yep!

I feel you, readers. Me and my back totally get you this morning. Oh boy, do I. My Advil bottle is within reach today. (For my out-of-US peeps – it’s ibuprofen. Think Paracetamol.)

I need a reason

I see people beginning to fantasize about set lists. Usually the band asks a question about songs off of a specific album, as they did this morning. Today they asked about favorite songs off of Big Thing, and tweeters responded. I saw more than a couple musing about whether or not they might be thinking about including something from the album on the list.

Some veteran fans and/or concert goers may scoff, saying that the set list isn’t going to change. Still others chastise, suggesting that everyone should be thankful that they’re playing at all.

It is actually possible to be thrilled and thankful that the band is playing a show somewhere you can attend, and still have hopes over what one may hear and see while in the audience. Nobody is slighting anyone else simply because they’re hoping to hear New Moon on Monday, or Planet Roaring, or whatever else happens to be on someone’s wish list.

Call it treason

For the most part, I don’t worry about the set list these days. I go to a lot of shows – as many as I’m able budget-wise, and willing to travel to attend. I had to get used to the idea that the set list doesn’t change that much.

However, it is also 100% true that at one time, I’d openly complain and lament over the song choices. I guess I learned that for me, in the grand scheme of things, it just doesn’t matter that much. I thoroughly enjoy the concerts regardless of what they play. By the same token, I also accept that for other people, it matters more. I have friends who only go to a few shows each tour because in their opinion, it isn’t worth it to go to more than that. They don’t need to see the same stage, same costuming, same set more than a few times. I totally respect that.

However thrilled I am to see the band, I will still occasionally ponder what songs might be switched out for other. The February shows are between albums, and even if I weren’t going, I’d still be curious. Isn’t it part of the fun?

Too many things, too much to know

On the safe side, I don’t think anyone should expect more than maybe a couple of songs to be different between the shows during the Paper Gods tour and now. The band tends to favor their hits, and there are plenty of them. I think they like to cater to the portion of the audience that comes to an occasional show every once in a while, than those of us who are diehard attendees. I can’t really blame them for that.

Duran Duran wants people up and dancing, not bored because they’ve never heard “You Kill Me with Silence”, or “Skin Divers”. That leaves precious little time for songs that the vast majority of the audience doesn’t know that well. I think that is the main reason why we only hear a new song or two thrown in over the course of a tour, like it or not.

Songs like “Hold Back the Rain”, “Friends of Mine”, “Careless Memories”, and even “New Religion” are fan-favorites. Maybe they’d include them in the right spots. Yet, they’re not so obscure that people would sit down, sucking the energy right out of the venue. There’s nothing worse than losing that type of momentum during a show, and it is difficult to get back on track when it happens. So I think they stick with these types of songs when they want to throw in something. Many, if not most fans, know the words and are so exuberant when they begin playing them that their vitality makes up for those who might not be as familiar.

Sometimes, they break out something from a newer album that they haven’t given a ton of playing time. Out of seemingly nowhere, they played “Only in Dreams” a few times during the Paper Gods tour, for example. So maybe they play their standards (read: hits), a couple of fan-favorites, and then one newer one or so. That’s three, maybe four songs out of the 16-18 songs they’ve been doing. I’ll let you all debate whether that’s enough or not, and see my own way out.

It’s us who make the noise

Amanda and I absolutely love to screw with the band by tweeting out our own hastily thrown together set list (sometimes even on paper napkins written with a marker!). We cackle and laugh the entire time as we tweet it out, full-well knowing there’s nary a song on the list that has a chance of being included. In turn, we also know that we’d have a far better chance of actually being accurate by just guessing a song or two. Even so, what fun is there in that?!?

I don’t know if I have a dream set-list these days as much as there are songs that I’d love to hear them play again. I’d really like to hear “Land” or Palomino” from Big Thing, but I know they’re not really songs that people can dance to, so I don’t expect them. “Red Carpet Massacre”, “All You Need is Now”, or “Planet Roaring” fit the bill for a live show far better, but who knows what they’ll choose. Hearing and seeing them play a song live that I haven’t for a while will be exciting. I’m not sure if it really matters to me what they play – I’ll be happy to see them throw in something new, no matter what it is.

-R

Guest Blog: Sears Center Show 2006

Look another guest blog!  This time it is our friend, Nat, who wanted to share about her experiences at the Chicago Sears Center Show in October of 2006.  If you something you want to write about in connection with Duran Duran or fandom, feel free to send it our way!  -A&R

By Nat Mingo

When you’re in a relationship, you celebrate moments. I’ve been listening to Duran Duran music since the needle dropped on the Seven & the Ragged Tiger album on my sister’s plastic Fisher-Price record player. So, yes, I’m in an active relationship with Duran Duran’s music. It’s SLB’s 60th birthday as I type this. Earlier this week, I was delighted to read an Instagram remembrance post about the band’s show at the Sears Center on October 26, 2006. I was also chagrined because I didn’t remember the exact date. Whoops! I should try to remember this date because it was my first …front row experience!

When Astronaut was released, I was teaching full-time and my funds were minimal. I went to the shows that I could afford. I was glad to be at the shows but felt unsatisfied with my view. I observed very happy fans sauntering to the first two rows. Afterwards, I promised myself that if the opportunity arose, I would try for a “VIP” seat. I was honoring that preteen who wore headphones while delving into the depths of the DD catalog and her hard work since then.

On the presale date, I remember sitting at my computer with sweaty palms while on the DDM site. Anxious thoughts were pervasive: “How does this work?”, “Will I get a get a good seat?”, “Am I a fool for trying this and going alone to a show?” Hours-no minutes- later, I scored a VIP ticket. Yaaasssss!!! I posted on the fan board that I was going alone and looking for meet up with other people. Two big hearted fans from Seattle and San Antonio said they would hang with me. I still appreciate their extended kindness and when fans embrace each other at shows.

I stayed at the hotel and got my ticket from the DDM staff. I opened the envelope and thought, “Hmm, this might be good.” A fan asked me where I would be sitting and when I told her, she walked away without speaking to me. Yikes! It was not a good way to start a show. Luckily, I met the two aforementioned fans and enjoyed spending time with others. We got to hear the band’s sound check and they rehearsed “The House of the Rising Sun” for the Voodoo festival which was a few days afterwards in New Orleans. I was thrilled for this unexpected and not repeated treat. I watched a fan get whisked away to meet the band before the show. When the fan returned, she was dazed but graciously accepted my congratulations.

I remembered walking toward my seat and asking an usher for assistance. She smiled and told me where to go. When I saw my seat and its proximity to the stage, my…heart…swelled. It was a palm to the chest moment. I don’t remember many specific moments about the show. They did play “Hold Back the Rain” which I miss in the set list now. I think we sang “Happy Birthday” to Simon. What matters is that I dared and enjoyed the experience.

I’ve purchased several “VIP” tickets since this show. “To VIP or not to VIP” will always be a question I will ask myself of the concerts I attend. I’ve learned that each show is unique. I’ve learned to have quasi-realistic expectations. No, John has never mouthed, “Hey, Boo” towards me from the stage. I’ve learned to look for the minute interactions between the bandmates and to appreciate a different perspective from each seat location. Most importantly, I’ve learned to be more GRATEFUL that I can attend a concert wherever my seat may be located.

So to the readers of this blog, if you see a woman lip-syncing while awkwardly dancing during “A View to A Kill”, it’s me. Please come say, “hello.”

Hoping to see you at a show,

Nat

Nathalie is a daughter, sister, Auntie, educator, reader, dreamer, Christian, Midwestern, Sci-Fi & Superhero Nerdette  whose favorite band is Duran Duran. She owns multiple copies of most DD albums.  She collects band t-shirts and proudly wears them in her everyday life. 

As the Planet Turns Into the Light

I had a good day yesterday.

Before I dive into that statement, I want to acknowledge that I am lucky to live in the US. While I know why the band plays here, I can’t help but feel badly for the rest of the fans throughout the world. One can reasonably understand why things are the way they are, and still not like it. I am very lucky to live here, and I’m very sorry that business for the band is such that economically – they play here because they need to.  I wish it were different.

The crazy thing is, the real joy I felt yesterday wasn’t from scoring tickets to a show. Quite honestly, I didn’t get anything myself from the pre-sale but an empty basket. Over and over and over again! However, it is true that my friend Lori is a guru when it comes to getting tickets on Ticketmaster (and before her, it was Suzie that came to the rescue for last year’s show), and without them I’d be scrolling Stub Hub or even the reseller’s marketplace on Ticketmaster.  It definitely wasn’t the ticket buying that made me smile yesterday.

I actually spoke to Amanda for the first time since July! What was so strange, yet comforting, was that we dove back in without really even skipping a beat. It was as if no time had passed. We talked about the band. We talked about a possible meet-up/welcome party/mini-convention for the weekend. We talked about politics (we are more alike than different), we even talked about sexual assault and feminism. I think what made me smile most yesterday was how normal everything felt, particularly after nearly a year of life feeling everything but. I am lucky to have a friend like her.

We planned. We talked about what we’d like to do that weekend. Yesterday, we focused on something other than campaigning and moving. For me, that was glorious. It’s weird, because for the past eleven months, I haven’t thought too much about Duran Duran. Yes, I write the blog on the days I need to write it, but once I’m done composing a post, I really have to move on with my day. I’ve had to focus on my family’s needs and put my hobbies aside. Secretly, I’ve wondered if I was just over Duran Duran.

That’s the silver lining of hiatus, or quiet times when it comes to this band. For two straight years (if not more), I think both Amanda and I felt like we were “all in”. We lived, ate, and slept Duran Duran! Once the tour ended (and I mean the real tour – not these one-off, two off dates), we went back to our regular lives. We picked up on other things. Maybe that’s our idea of balance. I don’t know. We don’t even work for Duran Duran, yet sometimes I really wonder if it’s not some strange sort of indentured servitude going on here!

I think I’d forgotten the joy I get from just being a fan and doing my thing. Sure, we can talk about how the set list never seems to change these days, or take up bets on whether the set and costuming will remain. There are real discussions to be had about Ticketmaster, and ticketing in general, and how it ruins the experience for fans. I’m not sorry I’m going to see Duran Duran in Las Vegas though.

I’m excited to see my friends. It will be great to be with my people again, strolling around with our to-go cups and lids. Again, I feel so lucky to count these women within my small circle friends. I am eager to be in the audience for the gigs. My adrenaline will kick in, and I’m hoping the memory of my past year will be put to rest. I can’t wait to see Simon, John, Roger, Nick, Anna, and of course Dom. I’ve missed them. We’re definitely doing parties of some kind at the Hard Rock. Watch this space for details. If you’re not already coming for the shows, maybe a mini-Duranie convention will entice you to make the trip.

Yesterday was the most joyful I’ve been since last December. It hasn’t been an easy year, but I have real hope that things are beginning to look up.

-R

 

Hallucinating Durandemonium…in Vegas!

Hi everyone!

I feel battered, and not only due to the ticket pre-sale I just completely bombed out on. It’s been a rough few days. I’m sorry I didn’t blog yesterday. It’s been pretty stressful, and my body decided to respond with the worst headache I have ever had. I’m trying very hard to remain calm today, as stress seems to make my headache come right back up again.

About that pre-sale…

First of all, we did get tickets. I will get that out-of-the-way now. I’m not complaining about what we got, and I really don’t care to relive the horror with obtaining them. So I won’t. I’ll just say that I remain 100% convinced that Ticketmaster is corrupt. There is very little anyone could tell me to make me believe otherwise, especially while that company continues to own and operate a secondary marketplace. I am quite sure I’m not alone on that front.

However, I am relieved that we do have tickets, and that I can look forward to a much needed getaway with my best group of friends in February. I can’t wait to see people I’ve missed, and maybe even make new friends along the way. That, above all else, is what I will be thinking about in the coming months. I definitely won’t be thinking about what seats I have, or how skewed and corrupt the ticket buying system really is.

What happens in Vegas…

Here’s the deal: we were thinking about doing a welcome party at the very least…and possibly some convention-type activities on Friday and Saturday during the day before the show if there’s interest.

What I need to know though is whether or not there will be enough Duranies in town on Thursday night to actually do a party.  So let us know if there’s interest in a Durandemonium party to start the weekend off, and also if you think doing convention things during the day on Friday and Saturday might be fun, too.  That way, I can set to work figuring out what can be done so that we can all get the most bang for our buck out of the weekend!

Stays in Vegas….

Now comes the fun part in trip planning – figuring out when I’m leaving, and where we’re staying! This trip is just what I needed, and exactly at the right time. My husband has my birthday and Christmas gifts all wrapped up for him, and I have something to look forward to!

Let me know if you’re coming to Vegas and what you think about attending a Durandemonium party on Thursday night! (we wouldn’t do it on Friday because everyone would be getting ready for the show!) 

-R

Feel Like Going to Shows????

Sometimes, you have an idea in your head about what to write about and before you can type it, something changes it.  Today is one of those days.  I have been so busy that Duran has been placed on the back burner in my life.  (Just to give an example–yesterday, my day started at 6 am.  I worked until midnight.  No joke.)  Thus, my plan for today’s blog was simple.  I was going to write about how I have been feeling like a bad fan.  While I acknowledge that I still do this blog and the question of the day, I feel like I have been I have been barely paying attention.  I have not been giving as much love as I would like. Then, I would have asked for forgiveness before promising that I would jump in and pay attention if something happened.  Well…something happened.  It is kinda funny, really.

Today finds me at a campaign office of sorts, running multiple canvasses.  My phone has been buzzing with text messages, emails and more asking questions, seeking information, etc.  So, when a notification popped up, I didn’t think much of it.  I figured it was campaign related so I glanced at the phone.  Was it campaign related?  Nope!  Not at all.  It was a Duranie alert!  An actual Duranie alert!  Anyone want some shows?!  I know I do!

The three shows are:

New Orleans — February 19

Las Vegas — February 22 and 23

 

Want details?!  I know you do!

MEMBERS ONLY PRE-SALE AND VIP PACKAGES
Members are the first to know! NEW pre-sales announced for New Orleans and Las Vegas in 2019!

Our pre-sale will begin on Tuesday, October, 16th at 10am local venue time

**The links will become active shortly before the start of the pre-sale, and the password will also be revealed.**

As these are relatively small venues, members will only be able to purchase up to two (2) tickets/packages per order. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you log into the pre-sale and tickets are sold out we recommend that you keep refreshing your browser as often community members put them in their carts and release them after 5-15 minutes.

There is no meet and greet, VIP parking or experience at the venue (other than early entry in New Orleans). All merchandise associated with the packages will be mailed no later than 2 weeks before the shows. You must be a member in good standing to purchase.

DETAILS:

February 19th, 2019: Fillmore New Orleans, LA at Harrah’s Casino:

PASSWORD: (revealed before pre-sale begins)

The Early Entry VIP Package is the only one being offered for this show:

Cost: $165 plus ticket price

– One general admission ticket to the show
– Early Entry to the show before general ticket purchasers
– Custom-designed Duran Duran Bag
– Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate with Lanyard
– Logo’d Bluetooth noise reducing re-chargeable headphones
– Logo’d Duran Duran stainless steel tumbler

There will also be regular pre-sale tickets available in the General Admission floor section and in the Stadium Seating Section

February 22nd and February 23rd, 2019: The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan Hotel Las Vegas, NV

PASSWORD: (for both Las Vegas shows revealed before pre-sale begins)

There are three VIP packages available for these shows:

The Ultimate Front Row package:

Cost: $300 plus ticket price

– One front row ticket
– A limited edition postcard personally autographed by the band
– Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate with Lanyard
– Custom-designed Duran Duran Bag
– Logo’d Bluetooth noise reducing re-chargeable headphones
– Logo’d Duran Duran stainless steel tumbler

The Gold Package:

Cost: $150 plus ticket price

– A ticket in rows 2-7
– Custom-designed Duran Duran Bag
– Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate with Lanyard
– Logo’d Bluetooth noise reducing re-chargeable headphones
– Logo’d Duran Duran stainless steel tumbler

The Bronze Package:

Cost: $65 plus ticket price

– A premium ticket (typically in rows 8-15)
– Commemorative VIP Tour Laminate with Lanyard
– Logo’d Duran Duran stainless steel tumbler

There will also be regular pre-sale tickets for both shows available in all sections while supplies last.

Ticket prices in Vegas range from $79 to $199 depending on location.

We look forward to seeing you online on October 16th! If you have any questions, please email ddvip@magusentertainment.com.

DD

So, anyone thinking about going to shows now?!  I know what we are thinking about going to Vegas, assuming that Rhonda and I can figure out who can do the presale on Tuesday.  Wish us luck!!!  If we can make it work, maybe we will do something meet up wise!

-A

Duran Duran live in February 2019. Can you wait?

Time is flying by, my friends. Yesterday, I spent the afternoon school supply shopping with my youngest. She is ten, going into fifth grade this year, and is in all of her preteen glory. I can’t believe she’s really approaching the same age I was when I first discovered Duran Duran. It hardly seems possible, although judging by the growth spurt she has had this past year, I shouldn’t be surprised. So we are staring down into the tunnel of a new school year, one that will include many changes, no less. I’m not ready. Summer was fairly non-existent. Twenty years of solid abuse takes time to undo, particularly when the main fixer-upper person lives elsewhere during the week. I’ve gone to two shows this summer, and I’ve been out with my husband alone three times. No vacations, no camping, just a lot of sweat, dirt, and achy muscles.

School starts in about two and a half more weeks. Our house goes on sale Tuesday. Why move during the summer when you can pull out your hair, move boxes and shuffle holidays, children and school around mid year??  My husband and I have a certain way about planning, as evidenced by the sheer genius spacing of our children – Heather is 21, Gavin is 19, and as I said – the youngest is 10.  (my sarcasm is alive and kicking) Mark my words, I will be moving over Thanksgiving weekend if not even mid-December when things are even nuttier. I can feel it coming, and I’ve already accepted my fate.

Meanwhile, there is this band I “kind” of like, and tend to blog about on an almost daily basis. They’ve been semi-awol for a while now while I’ve been in my own rabbit hole. I think they’re around, enjoying their own lives. Imagine that! Earlier in the week, DDHQ had tweeted a photo from #Duranlive, saying that there would be no live shows until February, but that they liked the picture.

This, my friends, was news I needed. I can’t lie, this entire year, I’ve had this little niggling, nagging, thought in the back of my mind.  Would the band end up doing shows this year? If they did, how would I get there? I’m awful, because there I was, husband just starting back to work, me up to my neck in boxes, and I worried about Duran Duran. I mean, not the kind of day-and-night worry. Just the kind that would appear in my head when I heard “Rio”, or “Paper Gods”, or thought about drummers and guitarists. It was a thing. Even the band themselves seemed unsure, saying that there was a chance they’d have a one-off show here or there before year-end.  Uncertainty drives me crazy.

February of 2019 though, is a lot less uncertain. This tidbit, or mile-marker on the journey, makes my heart begin to sing the joyful sounds of “Hungry Like the Wolf” (I can see you laughing at me, Nick. Knock it off.) As I “doo doo doo do, do doo do, do doo do, do doo do, doo doo” my way through packing the precious little that is actually left in this now-personality free house, I’ll be thinking of the fun that is waiting for me in 2019.

Funny how times change. During the Mojave Desert of nothingness between All You Need is Now and Paper Gods, I was desperate. Foraging for anything I could find. A small but tasty sliver of news would have satiated me. A tall, cool drink of Dom or Roger (oh yes, I did just type that.) would have quenched a bit of my thirst along the way. I was dying. I even begged Amanda to fly out to Los Angeles for what could have easily been one (yes, ONE) song performed by Duran Duran at the David Lynch gala at the Ace Theatre. Thankfully, it was a few songs. I nearly died that night in more ways than one, but even those memories kept me going.

This time though, I’m far more patient. I do still miss the band. Any time I see Dom tweet (which isn’t all that often), I grin like the Cheshire Cat. Do I have it that bad? Maybe. I love seeing the very occasional tweet from Simon, or even the photos that John sends to DDHQ to post. Once in a while we’ll get something from Roger or even Nick, and I’m smiling for days. However, I am thankful to have the time to get my life back together. There will time for crazy drives to LA or even San Francisco later. I’m looking forward to getting my own touring group back together for late nights, vodka, cups with no lids and lots of laughing. But I can wait a bit longer. 2019 is beginning to show up on the horizon.

-R

On This Date: The Evolution of my Fandom

For the last few years, I have created a Duran Duran related calendar for myself and Rhonda.  In our calendar, I have listed album release dates as well when singles came out.  I also have included dates that we have seen them in concert together.  On this date, October 1st, there are multiple entries on our calendar.  First, we saw Duran perform 4 songs at the Andre Agassi Grand Slam for Children event in Vegas in 2005.  Then, we saw the band perform at the Hollywood Bowl in 2015.  When I look back at those two events, I realize that there is much about my fandom that has changed and, yet, some things have remained consistent.

2005 featured the reunion album of Astronaut as well as the tour.  For me, personally, fandom really felt like a utopia.  Everyone seemed excited about the band and their future.  Message boards were busy with activity and everyone was either planning or sharing concert plans.  Any negatives between fans were easily pushed aside in my head.  By October, I had seen the band a bunch of times in concert both in spring and in the summer.  Yet, I didn’t hesitate when my friends suggested that we get together in Vegas.  Interestingly enough, that trip represented only the second time I had traveled by plane for something fandom related.  I have never flown in a plane to see Duran (or any band, for that matter) play before that.

That night in 2005, my friends and I attended a pre-show meet-up at a bar there at the MGM Grand where the concert was held.  I was one of many fans there who had traveled to see the band play.  The funny part is that Duran only performed 4 songs that night and we had seats way in the back.  Despite that, I still felt like I was on top of the world that night.  I screamed and sang those 4 songs with all the passion I could muster.  After that, I went and drink and danced my ass off until the clubs closed and breakfast was served.  I look back at that night as an eye-opening experience.  While it was beyond fun, I also saw some of the darker elements of our fan community night.  Some of those less-than-kind features I was a part of and others I just witnessed.  In many ways, that night marked the end of the utopia.

Then, of course, a lot has happened since that night, leading up to that Hollywood Bowl show.  Instead of attending a pre-show meet-up, I planned one.  In both nights, I met a bunch of people and the love for Duran was strong.  When I went to the Hollywood Bowl show, I knew that this could be one of the best nights ever like the Vegas one was, but I no longer denied the reality that fandom isn’t a utopia.  It still gives me the greatest amount of fun that I could ever hope for and it has provided me the opportunity to meet my best friend and other amazing people.  Most importantly, I have learned that my true happy place is being at a Duran Duran concert.  However, it isn’t perfect.  People are not always nice and nights do not always go as planned or cannot always be the most fun ever.

The Hollywood Bowl was a great show and I’m glad to have attended it.  Yet, it didn’t equal the fun of that Vegas show.  It couldn’t.  For the Vegas show, we had the time to go out and party without any care in the world.  For the Hollywood Bowl show, we had to start our drive up to Berkeley for the next show.  By 2015, a priority for us was going to as many shows as we could.  Maybe this is another sign of how my fandom has changed.  In 2005, I was more than content to see just 4 songs, way in the back of the arena.  By 2015, I wanted to get to as many shows as I could and I really wanted good seats.  Does that mean that 2005 was better?  In some ways, maybe, it was.  That said, 2015 was pretty sweet, too, but in different ways.  In 2005, it was all new and fun.  In 2015, I was involved in the fandom in a different way and was ready to do as many shows as I could.  I also had the opportunity to see amazing shows from really great seats.  That makes me pretty lucky!

I cannot regret the decisions that I have made in regards to either time period.  Both have led me to where I am today.  I have learned a lot and have had amazing experiences and a tremendous amount of fun.  What would be cool would be to go to another show on October 1st in 2025.  Then, I might be able to see how my fandom has evolved in 10 years and in 20 years.  I could get a real historical perspective.

-A

It’s about the money, honey! Those darn ticket prices

Lately, the blog has been void of truly controversial topics.  I have stuck to basics, like commemorating days in history and that sort of thing. The writing has been easy, and I’ve enjoyed not having my inbox/comments flooded with inflammatory and argumentative replies. I don’t miss that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, nor do I miss being called out by people on Twitter who really know nothing about me.

However, sometimes, no matter how incendiary a topic might be, it is worthy of some discussion. Amanda and I never used to shy away from the tough topics, and I don’t want to start that now just because of my own comfort zone.  Over the past few days, I noticed a friend comment about the ticket prices for Duran shows. I replied, commiserating over the cost.

On this same thread, another Duranie commented that he didn’t feel the band cared how we felt about their prices. First of all, let’s be clear: I am not all that sure that the band even knows what they charge for concert tickets. As Simon has said many times, they don’t really get involved on the business side – after all, that is why they hire management, right? Second, I would agree that they probably don’t care. I think the band comes out on stage, sees that most of the seats are full – if in fact they can even see that well past the first several rows – and they go about their business of playing their set. They aren’t fixated on how much their shows cost, only what they need to do at the time. Third, Simon himself (and I’m sorry to “pick” on Simon, it just so happens he’s the one who I remember making any mention of this subject) has said that when a fan buys a ticket to their show, they are getting a terrific value for their money.  So I think we all know where he stands, and I can’t blame him.

As the thread continued, another Duranie friend chimed in.  She’s seen them quite a bit over the years, and flat-out refuses to spend so much money to see a band that she’s seen so often. She continued by saying that their latest releases have underwhelmed her, and that also plays a part in her decision not to attend shows. I can’t argue with any of that, either. I mean, why pay to see a band that is putting out music you’re not into? Fair enough.

The one question that always seems to come up during these conversations is whether or not the band is really just into it for the money.  Now, before you hit the comment button here – I KNOW WHAT THE BAND HAS SAID. John Taylor has said in more than one Katy Kafe that it is not just about the money for them. I KNOW.  I would simply ask what do any of us think they’d really say in public?? I highly doubt ANY band would openly say they are still working and performing purely for the money. Even if we don’t think they’re ONLY in it for the cash (which for the record I do not), let’s be fair: making money is part of the deal. It’s called business.

Curiously, the answer to that one little question matters to fans. We white knuckle the belief that the band we love really is not about taking us for everything we’ve got and are willing to part with, to see them.  Yet I think most of us know in our heads that money has to enter into it all somewhere.  The question is, where is that line between having a successful career and selling out purely for cash drawn, and why?

Discussion points are continually made that the band isn’t continuing to sell out massively large venues, and that they’re playing Festivals and casinos. No argument there, although I have pointed out in some conversations that this past summer – they definitely came close to selling out at least some of the venues they performed in that while touring with Chic.  I’ll admit, in my own personal opinion, the ticket prices were pretty high (considerably so if you bought VIP, which I did).  While no, they aren’t playing the same size venues this spring [in the US], the ticket prices have not come down that much. I do see other bands besides Duran Duran on occasion, and while I pay the most to see DD (VIP cost having a lot to do with that so to some degree it is my own fault and I own that), I have found that other tickets are still expensive. It’s just not cheap to go to concerts anymore unless you’re willing to sit in the back or on the lawn.

This is not just about priority for fans. The implication that if you really want to see Duran Duran you’ll pay the price and if you’re just a fair-weather fan, you probably won’t and that’s your problem, is distasteful.That belief gives far too much leeway in passing judgment on others. After all, five years ago, I could afford to do whatever show(s) I wanted, and didn’t have to work outside of the home. Now, I can’t, and I work. Things change, and it isn’t just about priorities. There are real fans of the band who have just gotten to the point where they feel as though the ticket prices are too high to see the same basic set list, or to see songs from albums that just have not hit home.

In closing, I’ll throw out one more sub topic to mull over.  In recent weeks, Amanda and I have had conversations about where the band sits in the overall hierarchy of popularity.  The band (DDHQ) markets their success with Paper Gods.  I made the comment to Amanda just this past weekend that if one listened to management, it is easy to believe that things have never been better for the band.  On the other hand, the energy and buzz have certainly changed over the years we’ve written this blog. It is vastly different now, for a variety of reasons. It is difficult to really grasp the true interest level. On one hand, they can sell out the Hollywood Bowl when touring with Chic. On the other hand, they tend to go for the low hanging fruit and play festivals. They have the opportunity to play for huge crowds without the risk of booking massive venues on their own.  They also play a lot of casino shows.  More and more often, I read of long time fans decide to sit out shows and tours, saying that they’ve given enough to the band over the years.  Is it just the people I follow, or is it a growing trend, and why? Is it our age? Our circumstances? The cost? Are we really that worried about whether the band is only in it for the money these days – or is it just reason to complain?

-R

 

 

On this date in 2011, there was a show in Bournemouth, UK

 

On this date in 2011, there was a show in Bournemouth, UK.

I know this because I was there.

This was the second of four shows Amanda and I were to attend in the UK. We began our day in Brighton, after having attended our first show the night before. This day though, was special. We were not going to be traveling to Bournemouth by train as we’d originally thought, but instead, we were going by car with new friends.

One might think that taking a trip by car from one venue to the next wouldn’t constitute much in the way of memories, but I have to tell you—it is what I remember most about the trip.

Yes, of course I have memories from the shows. That goes without saying. I remember the band taking the stage each night, I can remember the lights going ablaze during Before the Rain and the triumphant feeling that would go over the crowd as they were able to see the band. I remember the encores and how we’d be able to get closer to the stage and clearly see the expressions on the faces of the band. Those moments are golden.

What I am finding as time moves on, is that my memory for each individual show isn’t all that clear. I can’t remember which show I ended up in the very front row for the encore, for example. I do remember some things about each show, but more and more, the lines seem to be blurred. Meeting friends though?  This, I remember with clarity.

Michelle, Amy and Jo were kind enough to share their vehicle with us, and we had the best time. Truthfully, I have stronger memory of that car ride than I do of some of the shows I’ve been to, and these thoughts are what get me through some of the less-than-fun days that many of us all have from time to time.

I can remember getting to Bournemouth and going to our hotel, and then setting off for a walk through the shops. I loved Bournemouth. It was such a cute town, and the best part about the UK in general is that these towns are set up to encourage walking. Where I live in California, it just isn’t that way everywhere. We embrace our cars, which is a shame – we miss a lot that way, I think.

I bought a zebra-striped umbrella, looked at tiger-striped adult-sized onesies (Seven and the Ragged Tiger, don’t you know…), and then we went to dinner. The restaurant was wonderful, but the company is what made the dinner special. It usually is.  We even went to another nearby hotel for some tea and met with other friends – Julie and Alison. (I seem to remember the hotel being fancy, or posh as they say!) The show itself, I don’t remember quite as much. Usually it takes Amanda saying something to jar my memory, sadly.

I remember running into Faby – I think it was in Bournemouth – out of nowhere. I was so delighted to see her and Gerardo. The thought reminds me, even now, that our community is a family. We might not always agree or get along, but there is nothing like seeing one another after a long absence. I treasure these memories and hold on to them tightly during long hiatus when there is not much of anything going on.

The next morning, I can remember standing on the curb outside of the Premier Inn where we stayed (budget friendly, and if I recall – it was pretty nice, except for the bag breakfast including an inedible muffin and undrinkable coffee!). I could see the ocean, the sky was bright and clear, and it was deliciously cool outside. Coming from California, where it is almost always summer – the change in weather was a treat. I loved it.

The only thing I wish I’d been able to do, and this goes for all the cities we visited, was to stay longer. I would have enjoyed soaking in the culture (and the colder UK weather, believe it or not!), but we were on a mission.  I know I’ve said many times that I would like to go back, and I would. At one point in my life I took it for granted that of course I’d go back. Now, I have to admit I’m not sure if the opportunity will come, but if it does—I’d jump at it in a second.

Good memories.

-R