Tag Archives: Duran Duran tour

You’ve Got That Thing That Makes Us Smile

I love the days when the blogs just write themselves. ūüôā

I hopped on Twitter and Facebook this morning before preparing myself to do battle with a pre-sale a bit later. Blogging is an issue today because I’m short on time. I had no idea what I’d write about, primarily because writing about pre-sales, or the aftermath, is so pass√©. Been there, written it a thousand times. I’m sure I’m probably do it again. Just not today. Maybe. Oh, and yes, I’m participating in the presale I told Durandy not TWO days ago I was rethinking.

I just can’t stay home. It’s that simple. Let’s hope the ticket gods are kind.

To my surprise, Duran Duran posted a fan video this morning for Face For Today. Now, this is not your ordinary music video tribute to Duran Duran. No, this is truly a FAN video, and if you watch it, you’ll see why. For me though, I could get no further than 2.5 seconds into it before I felt some strange gooey feeling go through me. I suspect it might have been my ice-cold heart melting, but I’m not sure. ūüėÄ

(I know it’s wrong to include emojis in a blog. I don’t care.)

I don’t want to ruin it for everyone, but if you haven’t watched it, you should.

Addressing what I’m thinking or feeling right now without making too much comment is a challenge. ¬†I’ll start here: over the years, I’ve seen a lot of comments from fans saying that the band doesn’t care. In fact, I have made comments similar to that (I actually think those very words have come out of my mouth from time to time, if not my fingers here on this blog). For fans, it is shockingly easy to come to that revelation. We all sometimes feel very far removed, and the music business itself isn’t really set up for human emotion at times. It’s run like, well, a sometimes vile and filthy business. I think that while fans forget that this is all about the career of four or five people (many others behind the scenes, I might add), the true business of Duran Duran may sometimes forget that fans are people. We’re not just dollar signs in the appropriate column, or part of a target demographic. We also aren’t just complaint bubbles with faces attached. The scenario is equal parts push and pull.

During the rarest golden moments, all of that extraneous, icky stuff that blinds us all falls away. We’re left to see one another, our faces beautifully vulnerable and real. That’s what this video is about, and I loved every minute of it.

The band cares. They can’t always show it in the same way that I cannot break down every single time a child hurts themselves at recess, or cries in kindergarten because they miss mommy, or is in emotional pain because my office is the only place they feel safe. That doesn’t mean I’m emotionless, it just means that sometimes we have to get the job done, still preserving a little something for ourselves at the end of the day.

Sometimes, it’s nice to see that those four guys: Simon, John, Nick and Roger, see us. They know we’re there even if they can’t always acknowledge it. I won’t copy their words, but the music really is between us. Nothing, and I mean¬†it when I type the word nothing,¬†in my life has ever inspired me more than witnessing the phenomenon of what happens when people come together to celebrate a band and their music.

Amanda and I aren’t in this video. We are just a couple of idiots who saw the call go out for selfies, and never got it together. Truth be told, in my own head – I saw no point if I couldn’t take a picture with her. ¬†I never said these words to anyone, but without offense to the band, we’re a package deal. My face is really nothing without hers when it comes to this band. I can barely remember a time when I didn’t know her and our lives didn’t revolve (somewhat) around Duran Duran. Besides, in some weird way, I kind of like that this video is about everyone else. Yes, we’re fans, but YOU, dear reader, are the real story.

I saw so many familiar faces in that video, and yes, it made me smile. So many beautiful people from all over the world uniting. If that’s not inspiring, well, I just don’t know.

-R

 

It’s the learning of this journey: Fan Events

Hi everybody!!

I’m writing to you this morning from a lovely hotel room in Kalamazoo Michigan. We stopped here last night on our way to Detroit for the show tonight. ¬†Leaving Chicago was kind of sad‚ÄĒit is one of my favorite cities, and it is also where my sister lives. I took one last parting photo as we inched our way by on the highway, thinking about how long it might be until I can return.

I needed my sister this week, probably more than she realized. ¬†We hung out, talked a lot, and she gave me some much-needed advice that I plan to follow on more than one topic. ¬†Amanda and I had agreed to leave and drive last night rather than wait until this morning because I didn’t want to feel rushed getting to the show. That didn’t make it any easier to say goodbye and get on the road and I found myself a little emotional as I hugged my sister knowing she wouldn’t be going back to California with me at the end of the week.

Our meet-up turn out isn’t always¬†huge. Some can be, but many of them have been less than 20 of us, gathered together. We make due with limited resources, and are thankful for each and every person who decides to join us. I also think it takes a certain amount of nerve to take a deep breath, walk up and say hi to people you’ve only chatted with online. Take it from me, I know that sense of anxiousness well. Walking up to a group of people and introducing myself is one of my least favorite activities, right up there with taking tests of any kind and say, having cavities filled. ¬†It isn’t any easier for me to host these fan events, either. It takes putting myself out there, being “on” even if I’m tired or not feeling well, and being more extroverted, which certainly is not my style. ¬†I just want to say thank you to everyone who comes to hang out with us!

At our last pre-show party, several friends we made at the Durandemonium convention in Chicago attended. What strikes me about these women is that before the convention, most of them didn’t know one another. Since that fateful weekend, however, I’ve seen news of their gatherings and travels. It is nice knowing that they bonded at an event Amanda and I organized. ¬†One of this group had volunteered to help on the committee even though she’d never gone to an event like that before. Shy and not very confident, she was eager to help. Since then, she’s gotten married and really has started her own life. She seems far more self-assured now, although I know she’d probably argue with me‚ÄĒbut I have watched her blossom and I silently encourage her to keep going.

Towards the end of the party, we took a picture together and she spoke with Amanda and I. She told us how thankful she was for these fan events and the things we do. She mentioned how we brought these people into her life, and how that made her feel. We have had people send us notes thanking us before, but never something like that. Raw from emotions that I have been keeping just under the surface, I found myself with a large lump in my throat, choking back tears.

Life has been rough lately. I haven’t even given myself time to grieve my family’s loss. Touring is probably the last thing I should be doing right now, but here I am. I knew I wanted to see my sister, Amanda and my friend Heather. I knew the band would be great. I just have all of these¬†feelings bottled up that I don’t know what to do with. Listening to this wonderful Duranie tell me that I made a difference in her life and brought her friendships and things blew me away. I think I’ve been on the verge of tears ever since. Here I am, struggling, and she gave me¬†such¬†a gift that night. She’ll really never know, and these words don’t do it justice. I needed to hear what she said that night. It reminded me that fandom isn’t about how many shows you’ve attended or how many times you’ve met the band.

If anyone wants to know why I do these fan events (or any of it really), they can talk to Kim. She is the reason. It’s not because I make money. (uh, no) ¬†It isn’t because I thought I would get closer to the band. (Never met most of them beyond a quick hello at a signing) It definitely isn’t because¬†I want to be a¬†big name in the fan community. I do all of this stuff because it is a way for me to give back. I found Amanda through being a fan. I want other people to have that same chance. It’s that simple. The band happens to provide the soundtrack for all of that.

-R

 

It’s Beautiful, The Dying Sun

Hi everyone. I’m sorry I missed blogging yesterday. ¬†My family said a difficult goodbye to my mom’s partner yesterday. ¬†The process reopened wounds that had hardly closed for my entire family. ¬†On the same token, seeing the love that my mom has for her friend was beautiful. It reminded me to take stock of what is really important. ¬†Lyrics from¬†“The Universe Alone” kept springing to mind throughout the day. They still do.

It seems like it was only a short time ago that I found myself thinking “Day One (without my Dad)”, as I pressed the buttons on our house phone to call my mom. ¬†I needed to hear her voice in order to know she was OK. ¬†Today I hesitated to make that call. ¬†I know she’s fine, and I realize she really needs a little privacy to just be. ¬†It wasn’t long before I saw an unsolicited email from her, confirming that yes – she’s fine, and she’s handling the loose ends (of which there are plenty). ¬†This is simply a new beginning. None of us were eager to begin this new start, but somehow we’ve found ourselves doing just that.

That seems to be an ongoing theme for me lately. Finishing our book brought me to some sort of weird crossroad. ¬†It’s going to take me some time to figure it all out. ¬†At the very least, I’m coming to terms with the idea that it’s OK to start anew. ¬†Writing my story closed the door on my past chapters of fandom, and I’m ready to see what is next. It’s probably not going to be the same as it once was, and that’s OK.

I’m very much looking forward to seeing friends I don’t have the opportunity to see often. ¬†For me, THAT is what gives the trip it’s energy. Seeing Duran Duran is a bonus, but the friendships fuel me, and right now ‚ÄĒI need all the love and energy I can get. ¬†And, let’s face it, once I’m in front of Simon, John, Roger, Nick and of course…Dom, I think I’m going to be OK. ¬†ūüôā ¬†I need my favorite people and my favorite music for a little while. The timing couldn’t really be any better for a new beginning.

-R

 

As If We Have the Chance To Live It All Again

This is one of those days where I have nothing to say. So I’m going to ramble, and hopefully I’ll find something here in the impending mess to print.

A little about me at the moment: I am about eight days away from embarking on my “tour.” For the longest time, I saw the trip as a reward for writing 6-8 hours each day. ¬†Amanda and I told ourselves for months that we were working¬†really hard and planning to party in July. Then something happened at the beginning of June that made me rethink going altogether. The details don’t matter, ¬†but it’s been a downward spiral since‚ÄĒand precious little has to do with the band itself. ¬†I really didn’t even want to think about going. I didn’t want to be excited, I just wanted to get through it, which yeah – is WEIRD, even for me.

Even so, I’m looking forward to seeing my sister, friends and a favorite person or two. Those thoughts kept me going. ¬†And then last week I started feeling better about the trip as a whole. There’s a lot going on here at home but I kept trying to remind myself that I have FUN when I am with my friends. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget to look at the forest when you’re stumbling through the trees.

I leave next Tuesday to spend a few days with my sister, then I’ll see Duran Duran in Chicago, Detroit and Toronto. ¬†Oddly, I have had an uneasy feeling about this trip since the beginning of June. ¬†Then this weekend happened.

On Saturday morning I got a text from my mom. She’s at the hospital with her partner/friend/boyfriend/etc (is it obvious that I’m confused about their relationship??). ¬†Turns out, he has been suffering with “heart burn” for two weeks, except it wasn’t heart burn. It was symptoms of a heart attack. A widow maker heart attack, no less.

The details aren’t great. He was very lucky that my mom brought him to the hospital when he did, but he waited far, far too long. He’s on a ventilator with more tubes going in and out of him than¬†I’ve ever seen. His heart, liver and kidneys took a big hit. They’re doing everything they can for him and giving him every opportunity to improve…whatever that means. ¬†I keep telling myself that every hour makes a difference, and things can change and improve quickly. ¬†I am writing this before I go to the hospital today, and they tried some things over night that could make a difference. I didn’t hear from my mom during the night, so that has to be a good thing, right?

This is not my mom’s first rodeo. We lost my dad just over eight years ago. We’ve been very thankful that this man has been there for my mom, and now we are trying to be there for him, but the situation is sticky. ¬†He and my mom aren’t married, but he has designated her to make decisions while he is unable to do so himself. ¬†In other words, it’s a nightmare scenario in a multitude of ways. I worry for her because none of us were ready to go through this type of grief again, particularly her.

On one hand, I want to run far and fast and get the heck out of here. Fight or flight? ¬†I’m ready to fly, thanks. I just don’t feel like I have the fight in me right now. On the other hand, my urge to stay and control are strong. (Yes, I am a control freak. This is why I don’t usually get along with other control freaks, I guess.) The next few days are going to be stressful. While I’d really love to be getting excited by this trip, my mind is elsewhere, sick with worry for my mom.

I don’t really know what all of this means, and there’s no real “Duranie” moral to the story here, although I will say a few things in general:

  1. Pay attention to your body and get check-ups. ¬†Burying your head in the sand does nothing. Heart burn that comes up out of nowhere isn’t a good thing – better to go and find out that it’s really heart burn than ignore it. For every second someone experiences the symptoms of a heart attack, a cell is dying. My mom’s partner went two weeks before getting help. Not good.
  2. Have the guts to write-up your Will (and/or trust…or even your final wishes). Your loved ones will appreciate it in the end. Trust me. ¬†The very last thing anyone wants to do while they are grieving is try to figure out what your wishes might have been, or what legal rights they have to make those decisions, if any.
  3. Live your life to the fullest. Life is not forever. Watching my mom  my mom go through this type of horror twice has taught me well. You get one chance: take it. Make sure you tell the people you love how you really feel and mean it.

I’m off to meet my mom at the hospital. ¬†Please feel free to think positive thoughts and send good juju my way. ¬†My family could certainly use it about now, particularly my mom.

-R

 

 

The Ticketmaster Debacle

I’ve been trying to sort out yesterday in my head. ¬†Let me just put it out there: I’m still trying to figure out what shows we bought tickets for and where we’re sitting. ¬†This isn’t because we’re doing that many shows, it’s because in hindsight – it all feels like a blur. Or maybe it’s more like it feels as though I was hit by a semi-truck (think “lorry” if you’re in the UK) and I’m laying on the highway in a heap as the traffic continues to buzz by, not even noticing that I’m there.

Yeah, that’s about the size of it.

I want to acknowledge a few things:

  1. There were people who had fantastic buying experiences. These people, by and large, were also folks who bought either “Ultimate” or “Gold” level VIP packages. I didn’t see any¬†complaints from anyone who received a front row seat off the bat, and I didn’t really see many complaints from people who wanted gold unless there just weren’t those tickets left.
  2. Ticket buying has very little to do with the band.  The band plays the shows. They deliver on their end.  There is a business side to all of this though, and we must accept and acknowledge that the band has the right (and responsibility) to be in business and make money.
  3. DDHQ, on the other hand, is in fact that business side. Badmouthing DDHQ does very little to solve problems or to draw attention to issues fans had with pre-sales, so we’re just not. I respect that I cannot do their job(s), and I have no idea what it is like to manage a band. Period.
  4. Ticketmaster, however, IS the problem.

For quite a while yesterday morning, I really considered my issues with the pre-sales to be user-error. Maybe I didn’t click fast enough? Maybe I paused a bit too long before deciding to hit “bronze”? Perhaps I was just ticked-off about the price of tickets being so much more expensive than the last tour? Maybe all of the above?? I was, and am, willing to accept that at least part of it was me. I’ve had good luck with tours recently. I have had great seats. That luck can’t last forever. But then I started reading about the experiences of others and realized that some of the same crazy things that happened to me happened to other people. That’s just weird.

What were some of these crazy things? (and I am only listing things that I’ve seen mentioned in multiple places by multiple people)

  • “CAPTCHA” codes not working: ¬†entering the code only to be told it’s not valid and having to do it again and again, or needing to close the window and start all over again, resulting in losing time.
  • No need to first go into DDM using your own user name and password before getting to the tour page, clicking on the gig of your choice and then being transferred over to Ticketmaster: Ultimately what I’m saying is that there was no firewall, so basically as long as one had the password that was sent in the email to fans announcing the pre-sale, you were able to participate in the pre-sale. Part of the reason (most of the reason?) we all¬†join¬†DDM to begin with is so that we have¬†first access¬†to those pre-sale tickets. I cannot tell you how many people have sent messages and told me on Facebook and Twitter that they won’t rejoin DDM next year because it doesn’t seem to help them.
  • Tickets in the process of being paid for disappearing out of carts: error messages pop-up on the screen saying something like “oops, your tickets are no longer available”. ¬†When this happened to me, I thought it was because I had inadvertently taken too long, but then I glanced at the timer – and I had 7 minutes left to complete the transaction I was making for 2 Gold level VIP tickets. Naturally when I went back to get another pair – there were none available. Can’t cry over spilt milk, unless of course there are 50 other cases of this happening to other people – which there were. That’s just wrong.
  • Having to enter the DDM pre-sale password over and over and over again. ¬†Isn’t once really enough??
  • For more than one venue, gold-level tickets were coming up in odd places, like several rows in back of that 6th row where Gold should end. I have been told that in one of the venues – Mandalay Bay in Vegas – where this happened, it’s because the venue’s row numbering “system” skips rows. In other places though, because it happened to other people in other places as well, as I’ve seen on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Lastly, and perhaps the most importantly: when (if) the MAP system comes up (where you can see for yourself what seats are available and choose them yourself), seats are coming up as “available” that have already been purchased. Unfortunately, when this issue was presented to Ticketmaster – they simply said it was “impossible”. ¬†Except that it’s not because multiple people had it happen this morning before the option to use the map system stopped coming up and all you could do was click on “find my seats.” I guess we’ll all see for certain when we get to the shows and someone else has the same (valid) ticket to sit in the same seat as a Duranie, won’t we?

Those are just a few of the issues I saw repeatedly from fans…and comments continue to be posted to our Facebook page even today. ¬†As I’ve said before, I recognize and respect the right of the band to make business decisions that fans don’t necessarily enjoy or understand. It happens and it continues to be a balancing act. We as consumers also “enjoy” the right to choose how and when to participate in the transactional relationship, which is it’s own¬†balancing act. ¬†While it may not be our choice (as fans) for Ticketmaster to be the ticketing service for pre-sales and fan ticket sales – it IS our choice whether or not we choose to participate. That balance is of course knowing that if we choose not to participate, we likely will not see the band on tour. I don’t know very many people willing to miss out on Duran Duran purely to take a stand, and DDHQ is going to do whatever they need to ensure the best profit for the band. That’s business, like it or not.

As a fan, it IS disheartening when things happen that make fandom feel more like work than fun. Days like yesterday tend to make me forget how I feel when I’m standing up and screaming¬†in front of the band. In my craziest moments I may have even wondered if I should just stay home and not bother. I’ll just say this and leave it for the rest of you to ponder: when the time comes for these gigs to happen and you walk into the venue, handing your ticket to the agent to scan and then excitedly walking with purpose to your seat, sitting down and staring at the darkened stage with growing anticipation as you see that the clock ticks ever closer to the moment Simon walks out and begins singing “Paper Gods”, are you really going to even think twice about the ticket buying process to get there? Are you going to be thinking about how Ticketmaster asked you to re-enter the CAPTCHA code four times before it worked? When the band starts playing Planet Earth, Rio or Pressure Off, are you going to let any of that enter your mind?

That, my friends, is why Ticketmaster stays in business.

-R

Duran Duran Paper God 2016 Presales

There is no way for me to put this lightly: I really hate pre-sale days, particularly when they begin (for me) before it is light outside. I got my coffee, sat down and prepared to do battle.

To be honest, I am still trying to absorb what happened to me this morning…and I’m trying not to be angry with the ticketing system, and be thankful that unlike many I have seen on Twitter and Facebook today, I do have tickets. I am seeing the band come July.

I hope they’ll be ready. ¬†<wink>

I read a¬†lot of comments and responses this morning. As always, the responses run the spectrum from elation, “I got front row to Philly!” all the way to comments from people who seem to have lost not just a battle, but an entire war. “Pre-sales were a DISASTER“. ¬†Or even better,¬†“@DailyDuranie it’s bad business for a band to piss off fan club members. 6 shows, 3 with not a single tix pulling up, other 3 shit seats

My own experiences ran raggedly like a dog, from one end to the other of the entire spectrum. One show we ended up with nothing because the seats we pulled for Bronze seemed more like regular seats from back in the 17th row. Why pay VIP on top of that? It didn’t make sense to me…and definitely not to our head purchaser for that show, Amanda. We’ll try again later for those. We bought the 16th row seats offered for another out of sheer desperation after having a set of third row seats in my cart that I was in the middle of paying for when a window popped up on Ticketmaster informing me that my tickets were now unavailable. WTF?!? Fine. I didn’t need those Gold VIP tickets on my credit card anyway! Bronze it is, even though I am not sure I feel good about spending so much on tickets so far back. After falling to the ground in defeat, tired and breathless….Amanda and I got up, shook the dust off, tended to some gaping wounds, and went back in for another round with a brand new strategy that is going to involve selling kidneys (anyone need a slightly used one?? Let me know).

Our next battle proved every bit as nasty as the first, but I soon realized that I didn’t even need to bother going in and logging into my DDM account to get to the Ticketmaster pre-sales. I just needed to know the pre-sale password. Fabulous, except that meant that everyone else on the planet who knew that password could do the same. That fan letter was shared about a zillion times online, any scalper worth their salt could get in with ease, and Ticketmaster did not hold up their end of the agreement by not bothering to uphold the DDM firewall. Some say it didn’t work, but it did for me each time I bought tickets during this particular pre-sale at 10am my time. ¬†What a mess. Amanda had tickets in her cart only to have them suddenly removed. (and I read this many more times over the course of the morning on Twitter) We bought gold at one show only to end up in 6th row, but we did have success at our final show, where we ended up with 2nd row center. I am not complaining about those results.

I know this shattered feeling…trampled but still breathing….

Thankfully pre-sales were over and I could live to see another day. But then I realized I still had to blog today. ¬†Really?!? ¬†Shattered doesn’t even begin to describe my exhaustion right now, and I still have a college tour to take this afternoon with my son!! ¬†(Going from fan back to mom in less than an hour…)

I’d be very interested to read what types of experiences others had this morning, keeping in mind that this is purely about the process. ¬†I have no doubts that despite the mess with ticket buying, once we are at the show it will be a great time. The band delivers on their end. It’s the rest of the insanity I am interested in reading. Share your tales of the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’ll compile them into something readable tomorrow!

-R

We are the Song

I’ve enjoyed the past few days as I’ve seen posts and tweets from friends either relishing the UK tour, or reminiscing over memories from previous tours. I’ve been reminded of winter markets (one of my favorite things about the UK – we don’t have them here where I live at all, probably because it’s never really “winter” here!!), car rides with friends, the “sometimes” (I’m being optimistic here) dreary December weather, a special tin of cheese, a particular comment made in jest during a show, and of course plenty of the sights and sounds of travels through the UK. I smile when I see the pictures and posts, whether they are memories for me personally, or experiences that others are having right now, because I like seeing my friends having a great time. I have a friend who just boarded a flight to Heathrow late last night, bound for the Birmingham date – and I keep saying the same thing to everyone and anyone I know who is traveling, “Be sure to send me a full report!!”

Amanda and I have had comments in the past that we brag about our travels. If someone desperately needs for this blog to be a negative experience for themselves, they’re going to find that in here no matter what we write. It has taken me a long time to accept that, but I do now. On the other hand, there are people who very much value feeling like they’re a part of a community that’s being taken along on that journey, whether they themselves are able to travel or not. Those are the people we’re thinking of when we write, tweet, post, or chat. Sometimes Amanda and I are able to share with readers, and other times like now, ¬†it is our readers and other fans that are able to share those moments with us as a community, and we very much appreciate that. Our readers are generous about coming to our Facebook page, or sending us photos on Twitter, or even coming to the Daily Duranie message boards with tales from the road. I love seeing those posts and treasures, and they make me happy. I love seeing fans taking time to see the Harry Potter set, or making plans to hit up a pub before the show in Birmingham. I know of a group of people who are going to take a tour of the studio that Duran Duran first recorded in while in Birmingham, too. That stuff is cool, and those types of plans with friends are what make the highlights of a tour for fans.

It isn’t as though seeing the band isn’t amazing. Whether you’ve experienced it personally or have only seen videos on YouTube, I think it’s pretty obvious that being in front of the band is the ultimate celebration of fandom. I remember going to those shows in the UK and honestly staring blankly at them while onstage, equal parts disbelief (that I was really there) and jet-lag. Some of the shows I’ve attended stick out more than others, and some songs provide more memory than others. But, if I were really being truthful, I would tell you that spending time with friends there is what I remember most from the UK tour. Traveling by car from Brighton to Bournemouth. Walking around Birmingham after the gig. Riding in a¬†train up to both Birmingham and Edinburgh. Watching it snow in Glasgow. Staying up that entire night, on a natural high that I didn’t ever want to end. Those are the reasons why those trips get mentioned on this blog. ¬†For me personally, it is the experiences with other fans that we want most to share. It’s the excitement and joy in seeing that no matter where we’re all from in “real life”, we come together over this single band. Can you hear the planet roaring?

We each found our way to this fandom with our own set of life experiences, judgments, and optimism. We share our hopes, joys, loves, and dislikes. We hammer things out, sometimes we walk away for a bit, and other times we bathe in the glory of the music. I love seeing the excitement and happiness of fans, particularly of the ones who are experiencing #Duranlive for the very first time, but I really love seeing and reading the journeys that any and all fans are partaking Рand yes, even in this day and age Рthere are quite a few. Those anecdotes, stories and tiny moments that are shared remind me of what fandom really is, and is not.

-R

 

Dear Duran Duran: About those Residencies…

Dear Duran Duran,

I had a lot of fun on this last little road trip of mine. Three shows is far more than I’ve had since August of 2012, and it was great seeing everyone on stage, right in front of me. I’m still smiling at the memories and cannot wait for more!

This time, Amanda and I, along with our friend Heather, drove ourselves from Hollywood to Berkeley and back to Rancho Mirage. While it was merely three shows, it felt like five due to the amount of driving and mileage covered. When I got home, I was ready to never see my car again. Alas, I live in Southern California and divorcing my car at this point is impossible.

My problem is this: you are killing me. I love you, but you’re killing me. Rest assured that while I am well-aware I’m probably the “loudest voice” due to this blog (which I’m told reaches a much larger audience than I think), I know with 100% certainty I am not the only fan¬†feeling this way these days. When you come to the states on tour (and I am specifically referring to the states because it is where I live), your tours are designed in such a way where it is nearly impossible for those of us who wish to travel to see more than one show in a single trip to do so without attempting to kill ourselves in the process.

I don’t know if…or why…¬†your promoters are unable or unwilling to see that you have a core group of people who actually do like to see you more than once on a tour, or maybe we’re such a small group that everyone thinks we don’t matter…but we’re still there, supporting! I personally know of a great number of¬†fans who have simply just given up and stopped traveling to see you. Maybe they don’t even bother seeing you unless you come right to their town. Maybe they don’t even bother then. Attrition happens when your audience is in their… gasp…40’s. I know you still like to call us “kids”. I appreciate that, especially as I’m staring my 45th birthday in the face, and about to write another check for my 18-year old daughter’s room and board at university. ¬†Not feeling kid-like this morning, really…but thanks!

The issue at hand is simply that when you come on tour, we want to pack in as many shows as we possibly can. For me personally, it’s not worth it financially (don’t get me wrong – you’re worth it, it’s just the whole “I have to pay for college, and for my family to eat” thing!) for me to fly all the way across the United States to only see you once or twice, never mind the time spent flying. In the last few trips Amanda and I have done, we’ve logged over 1,000 miles driving each time. (I think we drove 1600 miles in 2012 to go to 4 shows in the Southeast, and when you were here just recently in California we did about 1200 miles. I’m tired just thinking about it.) I don’t think anyone can say to Amanda and I with a straight face that we’re unwilling to do hard work for our fun.

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but the US isn’t particularly well-designed when it comes to their public transportation. While we have trains, they’re not particularly effective, and don’t even start with me about our buses. While one might take a train from London to Edinburgh and/or Glasgow to see a show in the UK and it’d take a full day…if I tried to do something similar here in the states, it’d take me 3 days to go that same distance by train, although admittedly some parts of the US are better about than others, but overall? Trains suck here. So we’re stuck either driving or flying. Flying is atrociously expensive unless you’re lucky, fly into cheap places, and plan well in advance. Driving is still far cheaper, but incredibly taxing.

Here’s the basic “tour” for Amanda and Rhonda: Fly into starting city/airport. Get rental car. Drive all day, get into a city in time to rush to the hotel, throw on concert attire and grab food on the way to the venue or the pre-show fan party we’ve got planned. Have a great time during and after the show, collapse for a few hours rest, and repeat again and again. Fly home, and in about 2 days, end up sick because once again we’ve burnt the candle at both ends.

So what to do? Miss shows? Skip shows so that we’re not exhausted?? Stop traveling altogether and just be happy when we can catch one close to home? ¬†(Admit it, you’d miss me silently mouthing, “No, no, no!” and ducking during “White Lines”; or smirking, rolling my eyes, and shaking my head, before singing “Hungry Like the Wolf” with you, right?)

I still fall back to the same suggestion I had back in 2012 after I came home from the last tour. Why can’t you¬†do more than one show in a city before moving on? Rather than have to¬†travel (surely it has GOT¬†to be¬†tiring for Nick to be up before noon in order to be on DuranDuranOne) from place to place and hitting tons of smaller cities – why not pick¬†destination cities in the US and perform at least a few shows at a time before moving on? People could fly, drive, take a train, etc to come into the city, and those who want to stay on in order to attend all of the shows in that destination, or visit with Duranies, go to a few pre-show parties, or flat-out take a vacation in the process would be able to do so. It might even encourage MORE fans to travel, and even if a fan couldn’t get to said-city for the first show, they might if there were more than one. ¬†As a positive by-product, it’d allow for a lot more parties and get-togethers to happen. Who doesn’t want that?!?

I know at least a few of the arguments against residencies: they don’t allow for fans from all over to come unless they’re willing to travel,¬†ticket sales may falter, it’s difficult to find theatre space willing to rent for consecutive nights, there’s a challenge in covering the entire US when you boil down a tour to only a few cities…etc. Let me try to address some of these issues. Granted, I’m just a very outspoken fan who likely needs a new hobby at this point, but at least I can try to articulate from my point of view.

In theory, I suppose when a band only pick a few cities to play it seems to make it difficult for fans who aren’t able to travel. However, I don’t see where it is any different from when a tour is announced and states like Tennessee or Nebraska are not included. People still have to travel. Is it more or less enticing to travel for one show, or three in the same city? Admittedly, ticket sales may be more of a challenge – I say that because I really don’t know. Although, I have to wonder if it really is any different to play three or four shows in one major city than playing three or four shows in smaller cities where fewer people may be willing to travel or pay to see a show. It isn’t as though Duran Duran doesn’t have an audience. Heck, this BLOG proves¬†otherwise, even when you’re¬†not actively touring or “in the news!” And yes, the US is huge in area and mileage/time needed to travel from place to place. I always laugh when people from other parts of the world complain about the amount of shows the US has booked on a tour. This is a big country. In order for me to get in my car and drive from Dana Point to the Atlantic Ocean, it would take me about four days. Five if I’m being realistic about needing to stop for food, gas, etc. People here in this country, for all of the reasons I just listed above, cannot really get to more than a few shows in a single trip. That’s exactly the point.

Maybe I just need to buy a Daily Duranie motor home. 

Never mind….

I’m not necessarily saying any of you in Duran Duran should plan a nine-date residency in Palm Springs; but I don’t think the idea of doing three or four shows¬†in Las Vegas before moving on to Chicago for three or four dates, and then on to Boston or Toronto for four more, is really a horrible idea. It would give the band more down time¬†to relax, less traveling overall, and it would likely present more enticement for fans less able and/or willing to travel for single shows reason to do so. And Daily Duranie would definitely make the trip(s)…because SOMEONE has to keep the fans busy before and after the shows, right?!?

(If one of you would just let my husband know…that’d be great!)

Truth: I have never planned a tour for a band, nor do I wish to begin now. I only know what it is like to BE a fan, and in particular, what it is like to be a Duran Duran fan. I can only offer suggestions that seem reasonable at the time. (granted, I am also the fan who has suggested, multiple times now, that you drop Hungry Like the Wolf from your setlist AND to make Dom Brown a permanent member. Apparently unreasonable suggestions. Who knew?!?) Yes, I had to get that dig in about Dom. It’s been a while, and somebody has to be on his side…. <wink>

Meanwhile, I wait for the ever-exciting 2016 tour announcement. Might I suggest (again, another suggestion…will I ever stop?!!) announcing this over the week of Thanksgiving here in the US. I’m going to be on vacation for that entire week, and likely sans cell coverage!! I’ve missed getting the sort of voice mails from Amanda that go a little something like this:

“Rhonda? You are NEVER going to guess what that band (I am censoring this for you, Duran Duran…only for you…)¬†has done now. ¬†Tour dates. Don’t worry, I will do what must be done! Just know that we’re going to shows, good luck telling Walt!!”

I’ve yammered on enough. I hope you get lots of rest during these few weeks off (right? you ARE taking time off, right?!?), and while I’m at it, remember that Amanda and I have been very good fans. Lately. ūüôā

Love,

Rhonda

The things we do to be together

It’s really that time, isn’t it?

After all of the planning, thinking, re-thinking and counting down, it is nearly time.

Of course, I’m not ready. ¬†I never am until I get there, I suppose. There’s always one more thing I should have done or something that makes me reconsider whether or not I should be taking off for a girls’ trip right before a parent meeting for school…or an illness that just doesn’t seem to go away…it’s always something. ¬†And, at some point, I have to just throw caution to the wind and know that, chances are, it will all be fine, and still here for me to deal with, when I get back.

So allow me a chance to fan girl now while I still can.

I AM GOING TO SEE DURAN DURAN TOMORROW!!! 

More importantly, I am seeing some of my favorite people on the planet this week. I can’t wait to find some friends at the Jimmy Kimmel show tomorrow night, and afterward I am picking up Amanda from the airport – it always feels the most “right” when we are actually in the same state! ¬†Then on Wednesday, we are meeting up with a friend from Canada who is the third in our traveling trio for the week.

I am especially excited for this tour because a couple of years back,¬†Amanda and I made a promise to someone who attended Durandemonium 2013. This person – who is from Canada – has never seen Duran Duran in concert before. Honestly, when she told me that, I think my mouth hit the ground. I mean, there we were, at a¬†Duran Duran Convention¬†of all things, where she had traveled a great distance to attend – and she’d never even seen the band live. ¬†We had to fix this. Immediately. Amanda and I told her then and there that we were going to make sure she went on tour next time and that we wanted to be there to see her first show.

What an AMAZING first show it’s gonna be, too! Hollywood Bowl, seeing the DD star, drinks at the Hard Rock Cafe, the VIP reception, Nile Rodgers, Chic… and fantastic seats to boot. (When we do things, we do them right!) Our friend is flying into LAX, and we’re taking her on a whirlwind trip of California as we stay in Hollywood, drive up to Berkeley, back down to Rancho Mirage (which is really just a suburb of Palm Springs) and finally one night at Casa Rivera in lovely South Orange County before I send her back up to Canada! ¬†We are planning for fun, music, driving (a LOT of driving), not much sleeping…and definite debauchery along the way. ¬†I know she’s up for the adventure, and she’s probably more prepared for the trip than I am right now. ¬†I’m still struggling with the concept that I need to be ready to actually leave my house tomorrow. ¬†Ready to see Duran Duran?!? Always! ¬†Is my household ready to manage itself for a few days? ¬†Absolutely not.

So, while I am trying to not to pull my hair out as I work my way down the never-ending to-do list…I will try not to audibly squeal or giggle as I think about seeing Duran Duran on stage tomorrow night, their stage costuming, or sparkles of any kind. ¬†<winks to friends>

-R

This is where it starts

This is one of those days where I don’t really know where to start. Paper Gods debuted at number ten on the Billboard Hot 200…I’m still wrapping my head around that wonderful news… Duran Duran played at Red Rocks last night for the first time…apparently Simon smooched my guy on the cheek (I am honestly not sure how I would have responded to that. I’m used to JoSi, but DoSi?!? WOW.)…I’m avoiding any and all YouTube clips of new songs because I want to be surprised… ¬†and then comes my thought and preparation for next week…

There’s just too much…and yet I want it all!

I posted about the Billboard chart last night, and I’m still so incredibly proud this morning. To see this band back on the charts again is such an accomplishment. I’m happy for them and their team, but I’m also thrilled for fans around the world – we’ve all done our part to make this happen, and now the sound of that celebration is taking place!!

Yesterday, the band played their show at Red Rocks (if anyone wants to give a first person review of the show – our gmail box is ready!!). I have never been to that specific venue, but I’ve been to that area before – and it is beyond words. Stunningly gorgeous. Someone said to me last night that the venue is magical, and I think that’s the perfect word for it. ¬†I’m aiming to live without regrets, but there is a part of me that does regret missing out on that show.

photo courtesy of Duran Duran/Twitter
photo courtesy of Duran Duran/Twitter

Then of course comes the excited tweets/texts/messages from friends after the show…all basically warning me that I should probably begin making funeral arrangements because when I see them that up close and personal at the Hollywood Bowl next Thursday, I might die. This is true. ¬†I did happen to see a clip of Planet Earth from Red Rocks (I didn’t say I wouldn’t watch clips from songs I’ve heard before!), and let me just say – as much as I try not to fawn and fangirl – if Dom and John come to center stage like that, it’s going to be REALLY tough for me not to scream my head off. ¬†As Amanda said to me earlier this morning over email, “we are going to die.” ¬†Well then. (PS – I really WILL die if Dom wears those leather pants…and then again, if it’s as hot that day as it is going to be this week, he really will too!)

photo courtesy of Getty Images (photoshop courtesy of Rhonda!!)
photo courtesy of Getty Images (Photoshop courtesy of Rhonda!!)

Anybody have video of Simon planting a big ole fat kiss on Dom’s cheek last night?? That moment alone may have been worth the price of admission… Well done, Simon! ¬†I miss out on the best moments sometimes, but then, I’m trying to really not watch the new songs or arrangements because I really do want to be completely shocked and surprised next week. The waiting is really tough though!! I heard they played “What Are the Chances” last night, and I already know going in that if the song comes up in the set list, I am going to need to steady myself and prepare to have my mind blown. I accept the challenge willingly. ¬†I also heard they’ve played Danceophobia a couple of times now….and yes, CK Shortell, I am well aware that Dom co-wrote it, thanks ever so much for the reminder. Again. ¬†I’ll just say now, it’s not my favorite song, but we’ll see how it plays live.

I guess I’m really kind of dumbfounded that my adventure begins next week. Thanks to the kindness of a good friend, I was able to secure a ticket to the after show concert for Jimmy Kimmel on Tuesday. I’m thrilled because I’ve never gone to anything like that before, and well – it’s Duran Duran. ¬†I can’t wait to see my friends who are coming in early just to go to Kimmel, and I’m also nervous about how I’m going to take my kids out of school early so that I can get up to LA. (Before I am nailed with “bad mom” comments, I also home school. This is just their extra learning-center classes, so you can keep those comments to yourself unless you do what I do.)¬†There is also a tinge of¬†sadness because while I’m enjoying that concert, Amanda will be on her own “bus” to get to California. The band really needs to check with our travel schedules before planning these things…. ¬†I will pick her up after Jimmy Kimmel and then the fun truly begins. Not that seeing the band isn’t already going to be fun, but well…without Amanda it’s just a little different.

There is a lot for me to do between now and next week, not the least of which is getting the Daily Duranie-mobile ready for a road trip! That’s right – rather than fly from LA up to Oakland and back, we’re driving. We’re literally taking off after the Bowl on Thursday night, driving up to see the show in Berkeley, and then driving back down to Rancho Mirage (which is really near Palm Springs). ¬†It’s just over a thousand miles, much of that driving will be done at night after the shows, because we’re really that crazy, and we had to do this trip as “cheaply” as possible so that way next year I can make it out to where ever we can for the larger tour that the band is planning for next year. ¬†Before I get too far ahead, our blogs for next week/weekend will be posted…but the timing may be quite a bit different from what you’re used to. I imagine Amanda or I typing in the car, using my phone as a hotspot to get things online as we’re driving up the 5 freeway through the middle of California…. so we’ll see how this goes. It’s always an adventure!!

As for next year, I am seriously hoping, praying and ready to do sacrificial offerings if necessary so that we can travel during Amanda’s spring break in late March…or wait until Summer if that ends up being the case. ¬†Long weekends are getting tougher and tougher to manage, so we’re hoping for a straight week that we can get together, unencumbered by work!

For now at least, I need to get my mind OFF of Duran Duran and back to work…they sure don’t make that easy, do they?!?

-R