Tag Archives: Duran Duran videos

To Lighten Up Your Mood: Motivational Duran

Yesterday students arrived at the school I teach at for the first time this year.   (I know that this blog is supposed to be about Duran fandom.  This post will get there, too.  I promise.) The beginning of the school year is always a little rough and this year is no exception.  There are always changes and adjustments that need to be made no matter how much summer planning was done by school staff.  In my case, this year, it is all about my class rosters and how many students I have.

For those not in the know, I teach 4 sections of freshmen United States History (along with the very welcomed Women’s Studies).  This means that I spend most of my day trying to get 14 and 15 year olds to engage in activities and discussions surrounding U.S. History from 1865 to 1945.  It is not the easiest task in the best of circumstances.  This year, though, my class lists are pretty messed up.  I have a small class that I’m team teaching with a colleague.  Then, I have two HUGE classes.  One of those classes I am also teaming with but not the other one, which makes no sense.  I also have 25 more students than my colleagues, which is beyond not cool since we assign a lot of essays so I’ll be grading until the cows come home.  Even weirder, still, is the fact that I have a class that has 25 boys and 5 girls.  A lot of those boys have a history of getting themselves into trouble, on top of it all.

While the scheduling seems random, I would not be surprised if I was assigned the class of what I would lovingly call “naughty boys” because I have a long history of success with kids who fit that description.  Part of me appreciates the weird sort of compliment.  The other part of me just worries about being exhausted for the next 37.5 weeks.  Therefore, it is pretty obvious that I’m going to need some energy, some motivation, something to keep me going.  As with everything else in my life, I find myself turning to music, Duran Duran music.  Can Duran give me what I need to be a successful teacher this year?

In order to see if Duran’s music can get me through, I have selected some songs that should work to motivate me.

Wild Boys

The reasons for this song seems obvious, yes?  If I’m going to have a class of “wild boys,” then the song of the same name better keep me going!  I specifically chose the one with “Relax” in the middle because I will need to remind myself of that a lot!

Paper Gods

This song will be used not so much for motivation but for validation.  A teacher’s life in the present day United States is typically filled with a lot of “paper cuts,” both literally and figuratively.  This song acknowledges that paper cuts of some form or another exist, which I often need and appreciate.

Sunrise

The thing I love about this song is how optimistic it is.  I think most teachers need to feel that optimistic, that hope in the beginning of the year and I am no exception.  Many, including myself, need to “feel the new day” as a positive.  I chose the John version of the song because…well…I like his version for obvious reasons and because I stop thinking or worrying about anything else when I’m watching it.

Hold Back the Rain

This song always reminds me of being on the road, being on tour with “no time to worry.”  While the school year gives plenty for me to worry about, I need to remember that there are times, moments when I don’t have to worry.  I will need to recall fun times of this past summer and hope for more in the future when things start to weigh me down.  This song will allow me to go to my happy place when I need it!

Pressure Off

Of course, the school year features breaks and the summer when the pressure truly comes off.  This song will me to remind of that during the long stretches without breaks.

All You Need Is Now

While breaks are always welcomed, I have to remember to appreciate the now and live in the moment.  While teaching is never an easy gig (I just read a stat that states how teachers make about 1,500 decisions in a day or more than 4 decisions in a minute!), I also want to appreciate the moments that remind me of why I got into this field to begin with and why I stay.  I have already had a few this week, such as when I saw some former students who ran up to give me hugs.

So what about the rest of you?  What Duran songs do you use to motivate yourself or to keep you going even when you are exhausted?  Which songs keep you going at work?  I would love to see everyone’s lists!

-A

Being Hard Isn’t Being Strong

Yesterday was my first day back at work.  As with every other teacher inservice day, the agenda was filled with meeting after meeting.  One meeting involved us getting into small groups and sharing the path each of us took to become a teacher.  One of the specific questions involved childhood and our experiences as kids.  Interestingly enough, before yesterday, I had been thinking about my childhood and how that fits who I am now specifically in regards to my Duran fandom.

As I told my colleagues yesterday, I spent my formative years in two very different places.  I was born on the south side of Chicago and spent the first half of my childhood in the south suburbs.  Most of my classmates were African-Americans who like my family were part of the lower middle class.  Like many of you reading, during this time, I witnessed the explosion of MTV and found myself falling for five British guys with catchy pop tunes and fascinating, beautiful storyline-filled videos.  Despite it being the early 80s, Duran Duran was not popular in my neighborhood or in my school.  Michael Jackson was the be all and end all to most of my peers.  (For the record, I liked Michael but not like I loved Duran!)

I remember sitting at the cafeteria next to my friend, who was the only other Duranie I knew, across from very serious Michael Jackson fans.  We debated everything (or so it seemed from an elementary school position).  I can recall talking about the differences in videos from Michael’s Billie Jean to Duran’s Hungry like the Wolf.  Billie Jean was better, according to my classmates, because Michael “danced”.  While I couldn’t disagree with that fact, I focused on the more intense storyline and the exotic location of HLTW.  These (mostly male) classmates could care less about the storyline.  To them, Michael’s commercial success combined with awards received proved he was better.  I tried, unsuccessfully, to show that Duran was more compassionate by being on Band-Aid, months before Michael joined with others to do We Are the World.

Part of me loved these debates as it was thrilling to demonstrate my passion.  I also felt confident that I had enough information to really argue my point.  In reality, I desperately wanted to prove why Duran was better.  Looking back, I know that part of this desperation was that I believed I was judged by my likes.  If my friends didn’t like Duran and didn’t think they were cool, then would they still like me, I wondered insecurely.  I also really liked the idea that I could be SO convincing to increase Duran’s fan base all by my little self.  I wanted to feel powerful and to be looked up to.  I’m sure some of that feeling comes from being the youngest of three children and having brilliant older siblings that I never felt I could live up to.  Overall, though, the goal was to keep or make friends, something that never has come easy for me.

The lunchtime debate didn’t not last much past the release of the videos for Thriller and Wild Boys as I moved about 70 miles away to a small town.  Before I even stepped foot into my new bedroom, I already despised the town.  MTV was not available and there was no Top 40 radio.  My family moved into our new house on a hot August day with the idea being that my room would be all set before I would enter one of the town’s elementary schools.  As the movers pulled away from the curb, a girl about my age stopped her bike in my driveway, introducing herself.  Having hope for the first time that the town might not be as bad as I feared, I greeted her and began to ask about what liked.  My hope was dashed quickly as I found out that not only wasn’t she a Duran fan, she had never even heard of the band!  I was outraged!

Needless to say, I spent a few years feeling pretty alone.  Initially, I tried to engage in debates similar to the ones I had in the suburbs.  For whatever reason, these heated discussions turned negative and personal very quickly.  Soon enough, Duran was used to make fun of me.  The year was 1985 and I was all about John Taylor’s Power Station look.  I wore a lot of black and red as well as those black jelly bracelets that he sported at the time.  Unfortunately, kids in that town did not appreciate my fashion style and frankly dismissed Duran as a “bunch of homos”.

Now, I find myself still responding as I did as a kid.  On one hand, part of me wants to openly share my fandom and my love for Duran.  I want to prove them and my love of them worthy to everyone I can.  Part of the reason is because of the passion I feel for the band.  The other part has to do with me protecting myself and feeling good about myself.  If I can convince others that what I like is great, then they will be with me.  They will be an ally.  This would also make me feel really good and cool and who doesn’t like that?  They will want to be friends, perhaps.  The protective side knows that even if they don’t want to be friends, they at least won’t make fun of me.  It is hard to make fun of someone who shares your interests, right?  Strangely, adult Amanda still worries about this kind of thing, which is a big part of the reason that I seem so private.  The less people know, the less people can make fun of me for, the less I can be rejected for.

Sometimes, the fear is so strong that I just hide my interests including this fandom or elements of my fandom.  I’ll give an example that once again circles back to work.  Today, we are going on a community scavenger hunt.  The directions include a statement about wearing something comfortable.  My initial thought about what is comfortable is a Duran t-shirt.  The kids are not there yet.  I don’t need to look “professional”.  Lots of people, including my boss, know that I am a big fan.  Other colleagues wear t-shirts advertising their interests.  Yet, I struggled to put the t-shirt advertising my interest on today but I did it.  I wore the shirt.

It is funny how a simple discussion at work brought up a lot of realizations on my part.   Moving forward, I would like to be able to embrace my fandom–not to increase my coolness factor or to protect myself from attack but because it is a part of who I am.  I want to be authentic and confident enough about what I like and who I am.

-A

Video Preferences!

We are one week away from our Dancing on the Valentine online party!!!  I think it is super safe to say that we are looking forward to breaking out of the winter blahs and having some fun with Duranies while watching Duran videos and drinking Valentine Stones (vodka and cranberry)!!!  We need a break from our routines and know that there are others out there who feel the exact same way!  Again, we would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE for you to join us!  Sign up on our event page here!  This event is a little different than our other online events in that we are asking our guests to come up with the playlist!  No, no, no…this won’t be the Rhonda and Amanda show.  It will we the party guests’ show!  So far, we have some suggestions including:

  • Sing Blue Silver
  • Live from London
  • Three to Get Ready
  • Duran performances on Top of the Pops
  • MTV Most Wanted Appearance from 1995
  • Their performance of David Bowie’s Starman
  • A View to a Kill from Coachella in 2011

We are obviously accepting more!  That said, this got me thinking!  (Dangerous, I know…)  What do Duranies prefer to watch when they have a chance to watch some Duran footage?  What type of clips, shows or DVDs?  What era(s) do they gravitate to ?  Therefore, I thought, maybe, it would be fun for people to answer some polls about the topic.  Perhaps, this will help our attendees think about what they want to watch but it will also help us for future online parties!

What Type of Duran Footage to You Like to Watch?  (Vote for up to 3 types!)

What Is Your Favorite Duran Duran Era to Watch?  (Vote for up to 3 eras!)

How Long Are Your Favorite Duran Clips? (Vote for up to 2!)

With your help on these polls, Rhonda and I will have a good idea what clips to suggest for this party and for parties in the future.  The results will also tell me more about what Duranies prefer, which is just plain fun!  On that note, we really hope that EACH AND EVERY ONE of you joins us on Saturday, February 13th at 8 pm CST/6 pm PST.

-A

 

Let’s Dance! (On the Valentine!)

Today is my paperwork day, which means my blogging time is extremely limited…but I will leave you with this thought:

Are YOU planning to hang out and do a little Dancing on the Valentine??  Don’t forget, next Saturday, February 13th, we are hosting an online party, complete with videos — and we desperately need your input!

Is there are a particular interview, performance, appearance and/or video that you haven’t seen in years but would love to watch? Is there a special YouTube treasure that you’ve been trying to find? Do you just want to sit back and watch the JoSi unfold???  How about Simon in those sparkly pants, or Roger’s stick twirling??  WE NEED YOU!  Run (don’t walk) right over to the Facebook event page for Dancing on the Valentine and share your ideas. Amanda and I will put together a YouTube playlist for the event and post all of the details in the coming week so everyone is set for some fun.

If you can’t make it for the entire party (9pm EST, 8pm CST, 6pm PST to whenever we are ready to drop!)  – feel free just to drop by. I am in the middle of setting up either a chat room or something similar (again, details to soon follow) – and for the price of attendance (which by the way is FREE), in-and-out privileges are guaranteed.

We hope to see you next Saturday, February 13!

-R

12 Reasons People LOVE Duran Duran in 2016

Sometimes, an article or online post will catch my attention and I will feel compelled to respond to it.  This morning, I ran across this article/post on dailyfeed out of the UK entitled 12 Reasons Most People LOVED Duran Duran in the 80s.  As soon as I saw the title, I knew that I had to take a look at it and I also figured that I might agree with most of it but there might be some reasons that I don’t relate to, even though I did love Duran Duran in the 1980s.  Here is their list:

  • They wrote their own music
  • They had great fashion sense
  • They married supermodels
  • They had “brilliant” lyrics
  • The Wild Boys video was “unbelievable”
  • They were Princess Diana’s favorite band
  • Nick Rhodes was the “coolest man on the planet”
  • Arena is a favorite album
  • They had great live shows
  • They inspired “modern” acts
  • They had “brilliant” videos
  • They are still together

Now, I would recommend actually going to the article to see the pictures that go with as well as the brief explanation for each of these choices.  So, what do I think of them?  Well, right away, I might comment that some of these reasons aren’t related to the 1980s.  For example, their influence on others wasn’t known in the 1980s.  We might have guessed that they would be an inspiration on others but we didn’t know that then.  No one did.  Nonetheless, this list made me think that I might create my own list of why people LOVE Duran Duran NOW.  Some of my list will match the original’s but, there will be some changes as well.

Number 1:  Duran Duran has written some of the best songs that have ever been recorded all  from their first single, Planet Earth, to their most recent single, What Are the Chances.  Many of these songs have stood the test of time and I suspect the most recent ones as well.

John fashionNumber 2:  While we admire Duran Duran’s great fashion sense, wSimon fashione also can laugh at some of their fashion choices now.  We can appreciate that they don’t always have to be “cool”.  They can be just
themselves and be comfortable with who they are!

Number 3:  Duran Duran makes us think.  Yes, they absolutely do make us think, whether it is by those brilliant lyrics mentioned by the original post or by their videos that seem to be more than what they seem on the surface.

Number 4:  While Duran Duran can make us think, they can also provide a serious escape from reality and remind us that fun is necessary in life!  Perhaps, they is why so many of us choose to go on tour to see them as much as we can!

Number 5:  Duran Duran will always be cool but, sometimes, they can be pretty dorky, which we love, too!  John Taylor’s dance in Danceophobia, anyone?

Number 6:  Speaking of “dorky” and dancing, Simon’s dancing is ALWAYS entertaining and never fails to make me laugh!!

Number 7:  Duran Duran IS a great live band!  No matter how many shows I go to, they never cease to amaze me by how fabulous they truly are live.

Number 8:  On top of making us think and making us laugh, they can also really make us feel.  Ordinary World might bring out the tears while Rio reminds us that they make us feel “alive, alive, alive”.

Number 9:  Duran Duran has recorded 14 amazing studio albums, including one, Paper Gods, released last year.  While I may not love each album equally, ALL of them have gems on them and songs that have made my life brighter for simply existing.

Number 10:  Beyond the fabulous music, Duran Duran also takes their time to consider the visual, whether that visual is in video form, an album cover or in the font that is used for merchandise.  The details matter to them.

duran-duran-paper-gods-cover

Number 11:  Duran Duran has fabulously dedicated fans.  Each of you reading this should now look in a mirror!  Yes, I am talking to you.  Go.  Do it.  You are a fabulous fan!  Often these wonderful fans meet and become the best of friends!  (Some of those friends are crazy enough to write a blog every day!)

Amanda & Rhonda Ace Rooftop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number 12:  Duran Duran is STILL around and have had such an amazing career that has spans decades!  We all hope that they will continue to be around for a very, very, very long time to come!

-A

Duran Duran Awarded MTV EMA

Duran Duran was awarded an MTV EMA last night in Milan, Italy. The award was given in the new category of “Video Visionary”, and Duran Duran were the first recipients.

In a statement released by the band prior to the ceremony, Duran Duran embraced the award with pride, “It is no coincidence that our rise was paralleled by the growth and ultimate world domination of MTV. The birth of music videos as a way to simultaneously bring our music to a global audience revolutionized the business. We took this new short form of film making and tried to make it our own. We have had some incredible experiences over the years making our videos. We have worked with some of the most talented directors in the world – without whom we would not be honored here today. We are really proud to be the recipients of this new award. Thank you MTV.”

In August of 1981, as MTV was first broadcast, I wasn’t even quite yet a teenager. I’d already heard Duran Duran on my local KROQ radio station and first fell in love with them because of their music. I can’t remember the exact year MTV was actually broadcast in my small(ish) town of Covina, California (and it very well could have been that same year)- but I do know that when it began, Duran Duran were on heavy rotation, and I spent much of my time watching the channel, waiting for videos by Duran Duran and other bands I enjoyed to be shown. MTV continued to open a door to an entirely whole new world of escapism to me, Little Miss Sheltered Teenager. It wasn’t just about the music, it was the entire art – music and visual – brought to life, and I loved every minute.

Later, as tastes changed, and the MTV programming took a turn for the worse, and then coasted down into even much worse, I stopped watching. I prefer not to even give the network a passing glimpse now – an empty shell of what it once was. As much as I am immensely proud that Duran Duran was recognized last night, I am somewhat amused that MTV continues to have awards shows, given that they dropped the “Music” from the name years ago and the fact that they no longer even play music videos. How do they even have enough credibility to honor anyone?!?  Perhaps that’s actually the point. Even more frightening, many of the acts they awarded last night are completely unaware that the channel ever played an integral part in music history, unless they’ve bothered to pick up a music history book along the way.  That’s alarming.

I didn’t watch the highlights show that was on MTV here in the US last night. I DVR’ed it, figuring that if I heard the band made an appearance on the air – I’d watch. Sadly, even with a two-hour “highlights” show and the first award given out in a brand new category, MTV didn’t find Duran Duran to be relevant enough to be televised, at least not here. However, I did find that it had been televised in other countries, so I am including a clip here that I found on Facebook (thank you to the Duran Duran Argentina board)

 

 

I am so incredibly proud of Duran Duran, and not for just the obvious things. They continue to have a fantastic career and they keep pushing themselves to do more, even when I suppose they could just stop and rest on their laurels (please don’t!). I don’t think I’m unlike any other fan out there when I wish rather loudly that they were more respected by their peers.  I was one of those teenage fans who screamed for them and hung their posters lovingly on the walls of my bedroom. I also scoured their albums, knew each of their songs note-by-note, and still work to learn as much about their recording process and production as possible. Yes, I was a fangirl. To a large extent, I suppose I still am, among many other titles I also own with pride. To equate an entire fan base as well as a band with not really mattering simply because they had a large female following continues to be an insult that myself and many others like me will keep fighting, because it simply is not true.

Eventually, Duran Duran WILL be respected purely because they cannot be ignored. History will lean heavily on the side of the band. In time that is far too long for my taste, music books will be written about the mark this band left, and continues to leave, on rock and pop history. Until then, they have the outpouring of pride, love, and affection from all of us who have stood beside them for the past thirty-plus years. Well done on your MTV EMA, boys. Very well done.

-R

Today in Duran History – MTV Anniversary

On this date in 2001, MTV celebrated its 20th Anniversary with a Top 100 videos of all time show.  Wild Boys was featured at number 51.

Personally, I cannot believe that MTV started 33 years ago!  That makes me feel incredibly old!  I am sure that it goes without saying that MTV changed my life.  While my little suburb didn’t get the channel right away in 1981, by the end of 1982, we did.  I couldn’t get enough!  I was glued to the TV screen.  While I loved my Top 40 radio station, there was something about seeing the video clips that really hooked me, especially when it came to those videos by a certain British band.

Speaking of that band, I thought Wild Boys was an interesting choice.  Of all their videos, is Wild Boys their best?  They spent quite a lot on it and had grand plans with it and for it.  Is this why it was chosen?  Something to think about on this summer Friday!

-A

Today in Duran History – Nick’s Birthday!

On this date in 1962, Nick Rhodes was born.  It seems that the online world today is filled with pictures, messages, and well wishes to our favorite keyboard player.  Nick, of course, has sent a message to thank everyone for their well-wishes, which you can hear here.  So, how should I celebrate Nick and his birth?  Simple.  Let’s watch some videos!!  I picked some that represented the best of Nick and his work.

Is There Something I Should Know?  (I loved his look here!)

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xct4pn_duran-duran-is-there-something-i-sh_music

Nick’s Stolen Moments:

Girl Panic:

Arcadia:

The Devils:

TV Mania:

Simon introducing Nick!

What are your favorite videos with Nick?  What would you include in a celebration birthday post?

-A

Analysis of Top 10 Duran Duran Videos

After asking people to submit lists of their top 10 Duran Duran or Duran related videos, I compiled the results and shared the results, which you could find here.  Then, last week, I shared our lists, which you could read here.  To finish up, I thought it might be good to dive into the results and see what we could learn about the Duran Duran fan community and their tastes when it comes to videos.

45 different videos were listed on people’s lists of favorites.  45!  I have to admit that I was surprised by the number of videos.  I figured that there would be a lot more consistency with the videos over the songs.

Which albums were represented?  In what order?  The videos are also listed in order of popularity within the album.

Rio (352 points):   Rio, Save a Prayer, Hungry Like the Wolf, The Chauffeur, Lonely in Your Nightmare, My Own Way

Seven and the Ragged Tiger (202 points):  New Moon on Monday, The Reflex, and Union of the Snake

1st album (165 points):  Planet Earth, Nightboat, Is There Something I Should Know, Girls of Film, and Careless Memories

Songs not on full length original song albums (164 points):  Wild Boys, A View to a Kill and Burning the Ground

All You Need Is Now (90 points):  Girl Panic and All You Need Is Now

Arcadia (83 points):  The Flame, Goodbye Is Forever, Election Day, Missing, and The Promise

The Wedding Album (76 points):  Ordinary World, Too Much Information, Come Undone, and Breath After Breath

Big Thing (57 points):  I Don’t Want Your Love and Do You Believe In Shame?

Astronaut (55 points):  Sunrise and What Happens Tomorrow

Red Carpet Massacre (23 points):  Falling Down

Liberty (11 points):  Serious and Violence of Summer

Tied between Notorious (10 points):  Notorious and Thank You (10 points):  Perfect Day and White Lines

Medazzaland (7 points):  Electric Barbarella and Out of my Mind

Power Station (6 points):  Some Like It Hot

John Taylor (5 points):  I Do What I Do

Band-Aid (3 points):  Do They Know It’s Christmas?

The Devils (1 point):  Hawks Don’t Share

Now, obviously, there are some albums that have more videos than others.  If I looked at points per video rather than just numbers, this would be the order of albums:  Seven and the Ragged Tiger, Rio, Non-album videos, All You Need Is Now, 1st album, Big Thing, Astronaut, Red Carpet Massacre, The Wedding Album, Arcadia, Notorious, Power Station, Liberty, Thank You/John Taylor, Medazzaland, Band-Aid and The Devils.  My point here is that the Rio album videos beat Seven and the Ragged Tiger videos simply because there were more of them.  Nonetheless, it is clear that the most popular Duran Duran videos were made between 1982-1984.

In terms of side and solo projects, Arcadia’s videos hold the top spot for the fans, at least in terms of their videos.  Some side projects did not even make the list, including Neurotic Outsiders, Simon solo and Andy solo.

I wasn’t really surprised much by the results.  I expected the videos from Rio and Seven to do really well.  I expected that the videos made between 1986-2000 to be, generally, less popular.  If I had to really look at the most popular videos, part of the key to their popularity has to be that they either have solid story lines to them, are “pretty”, or came out at a peek time in Duran’s career.  While there was much that I was not surprised by, there were a few things that I was surprised by.  First, I was surprised that Serious did not do better than it did.  Second, I was surprised that Ordinary World did as well as it did.  While it is one of those “pretty” videos, I think Lonely in Your Nightmare is just as pretty.  Clearly, it was a situation in which people’s thoughts or memories affected their preferences.  The same is probably true for The Reflex as it is really the only performance video chosen.

What do the rest of you think?  What surprised you?  What didn’t shock you?  What else should I have analyzed?  Like the top 25 songs, I enjoyed doing this.  The next one will take place later in the summer as I will ask the fan community to develop the ultimate album!

-A