I received the most interesting phone call yesterday at about 5pm my time. I was in my car, driving frantically from Office Depot, of all places, back to pick my youngest up from her singing lessons. I was pushing it, time-wise, and cursing while waiting for a lengthy traffic light to change when my cell phone rang. Normally when this happens, I ignore it unless I happen to see who is calling – so it was just dumb luck that I noticed it was Amanda. I had exchanged texts with her earlier, so I couldn’t imagine what it was she needed, but I answered the phone.
She seemed a little too joyful for what was about 7pm her time, so I immediately knew something was up. Naturally, and I really should have guessed this, but the dates for the North American portion of the Paper Gods 2016 tour were emailed to members of DDM. (Did I not warn all of you to get your membership??!!)
“Honestly Amanda. ONE HOUR. I left my computer for ONE FREAKING HOUR.”
Amanda laughs, of course, because more often than not – this is how our “tour planning” begins. I would swear I’m always in my damn car, without any way to really check the calendar or have any sort of visual reference as to what being told to me. All I’m thinking of in the moment as she’s listing the tour dates: A. Gotta stay in my lane and not get into an accident. B. Why in the hell does this have to happen NOW?
Somehow, I make it to pick up my daughter, and get us to the grocery store to buy food for dinner (yes, I’m that organized…which means I’m not at all…), then back to my house to prepare said dinner. All the while in nearly a full panic as I try to understand and commit to memory that Durham is in April, Washington DC is happening on my 21st wedding anniversary (not gonna even attempt to go to that one), Chicago is NOT in the spring, but instead in July…when both Amanda and I are as free as birds (Not to be taken literally…), and they’re even coming to the Irvine Meadows Amphitheater, which is five miles from my house. FIVE MILES! I don’t even know if that’s what the amphitheater is still called – they change names constantly – but I haven’t seen the band there since the 90s when I was still in college. I don’t really even have to take the freeway or toll road to get there and on a clear day I can SEE it from my street!
For the first time, Duran Duran managed to not only book a tour during a time of year where neither Amanda nor I need worry about scheduling – but they’ve even managed to NOT have dates during May or June – which are disaster months for the both of us. At first, we bantered about going to shows in Florida during the spring, but ultimately we agreed that we couldn’t do them all – and since it was easiest for both of us to travel during the summer, we would do what shows we could during that time. July it is!
Before I get much further, I just want to take a minute to be thankful. Duran Duran made our choices difficult this time, but not because there wasn’t anything to choose from. No…just the opposite, really! Most of the shows are centered around weekends (I’ve seen many say they’re during the week, but I didn’t find that to be the case in the shows I considered), they’re during a time of year when Amanda and I can both be away from our homes, and I personally think they’re in great places. But no, they can’t cover the entire country, and yes, there ARE really outstanding places left out completely. There is no winning this game for the band unless they spend the better part of the year traveling here. That said, it was nice to HAVE choices, and quite frankly it was nice to have dates at all.
Yeah, I know the pre-sales are tomorrow and that Christmas is a couple of weeks away. This isn’t the first time that’s happened, and its definitely not the first time we’ve been given less than two days until a pre-sale begins. Optimal? No, it’s not. I am not a fan of Ticketmaster and even less so of the scalpers who will likely leach the tickets before I even have a chance to find decent ones. I’m disappointed that DDHQ decided to go that route, but I’m not in charge and I don’t know how the system works for them at all. There’s always going to be something, and there’s always going to be someone who can’t buy tickets for one reason or another. I’m also well-aware that we’re going to be doing pre-sales for shows that are over six months away. That does seem excessive, until you look at other bands who do the very same thing. To be fair, none of us know how tours work for Duran Duran. I would imagine that deposits have to be made on some of these facilities, people need to be paid, etc, etc…and that money has to come from somewhere. So, pre-sales have to happen. Yes, it sucks and YES…I DO wish they would give us more than 48 hours to make decisions. It isn’t ever going to be perfect.
Additionally, and more importantly at least in my mind, we’re lucky we’re getting shows at all. I may be the only one who feels that way, but I’m still going to take a minute to say it here publicly. We’re fortunate to have dates to even consider. There are many other fans in many other places of the world that would love to just be given the opportunity to go to a show – much less have Amanda and I do parties and meet-ups, so I can’t complain about the system not being perfect for everyone. I see a lot of grumbling and complaining, both good-natured and otherwise, and I just wonder if we’ve taken the time to acknowledge how lucky we really are to have Duran Duran coming here to tour again. After all, this isn’t a band who stays on our “Top Ten” charts for long, if at all. This isn’t a band who has a ton of radio play here, either. Thankfully, they still come here because our market is valuable to them, and I appreciate that.
We’ve already heard from many of you out there, asking us where we’re going, suggesting we come to this show or that one, hoping we’ll set up meet-ups and pre-parties everywhere we go. Rest assured, the time for planning and partying will be coming soon. I can hardly wait to start getting sleep so that I can stay awake the entire month of July to see as many of you as possible!!
After major negotiating and planning with my cohort, we do have some shows in mind. Chicago speaks to both of us because we love that city and there are two dates there. We’re hoping to make Detroit and Toronto as well since I can fly out do those dates in a single trip. We’d really like to do Vegas, as well as Irvine and Chula Vista, which means Amanda would fly out to me and then we’d road trip those together. That’s a lot of shows, and to be perfectly blunt – it’s expensive. We would really love to be able to plan pre-show parties everywhere, because we see the difference it makes when people come to a party for fans, BY fans before the show (and after the show, too!). The reality is, we just can’t unless we win the lottery, find wealthy benefactors, or suddenly figure out how to turn this into a business so that our costs can be covered. Until then, we do what we can, and we sit a lot farther back! As the tour gets closer, we will keep everyone updated on our plans for parties and meet-ups here, on Facebook, Twitter, and our message board.
In the meanwhile, I extend the best of luck to everyone with pre-sales tomorrow. May your ticket prices not bankrupt you, your seats be fantastic, and good vodka be ever close at hand. 😉 (Ok, maybe not the vodka for a lot of you…but I figured while I was at it, I’d just throw that in there…)
PS – can you believe we’re all doing this again?!?