Tag Archives: Duran Duran

Meet Bridey Heidel – Tahoe’s Own “Yes” Girl!

Hi everyone! Happy Friday to you! Today, we have a treat that we’re very excited to share. During the recent West Coast mini tour, we heard a little bit about a teacher from Lake Tahoe. The entire Tahoe community, as well as many within the Duraniverse, seemed to be staging a concerted effort to arrange a meeting between 9th grade English teacher Bridey Heidel, and Duran Duran. We were intrigued. Many people obviously want to meet the band, but what made Bridey’s story so different?

In Bridey’s case, her campaign to meet the band didn’t stop with a few well-coordinated tweets. She had been interviewed by her local paper, and it turns out – there was quite a back story. While we very much want everyone to take the time to read the original story, which we linked above, the snapshot is simply that Bridey’s childhood wasn’t the easiest. She switched schools 26 times before graduating from high school, living anywhere from motels, to cars, to couches. The fact that she is not only a teacher, but teaching at the high school from where she graduated, is indeed a triumph, not to mention that her dream to meet Duran Duran did come true! Here’s a link to that final newspaper article about their meeting.

We don’t do a ton of interviews for Daily Duranie, simply because logistically – it’s tough. Additionally, Amanda and I haven’t invested in the type of equipment we need to do these types of interviews professionally and seamlessly. In this case though, we are so glad we did it anyway.

One thing we’ve realized, and is probably the “real” secret behind the longevity of this blog, is that we continue learning. We get far more out of writing and blogging than people will ever know. The lessons we learn from fans we meet, and the people we have come to know along the way – like Bridey – are so affirming, we can’t imagine not writing, or doing Daily Duranie.

When we reached out to Bridey a few days ago, we didn’t understand the full extent of her story, but something about what we’d read and seen intrigued us. How many people get local paper support behind a campaign to meet the band? We just don’t know of a lot of people that go to that much effort. (including ourselves, but that is neither here nor there!) It turns out, the lesson was so much bigger than the dream of meeting Simon Le Bon, or even Duran Duran. We hope you all appreciate listening as much as we did.

I need to apologize, because our microphones, and even the video seem to cut out on occasion (that’s a problem with Skype), amounting to some sound and video problems.

-R

September 2019 Katy Kafe with Roger

There are days, and then there are days. Today is the latter. I’ve spent my morning neck deep in the throes of webhosting madness, and now I am rewarded with a new Katy Kafe!

Roger was still in LA for one more day before traveling home, and found time for a chat with Katy to fill us all in on the DD happenings over the summer.

Mini-Tour

They just finished the mini tour and KAABOO Festival in Del Mar (just north of San Diego). Roger said he loves touring the west, making note of our constant sunny days and the positive energy he felt from all of the audiences. He and Katy also made note of the audience in Tahoe, saying that they were surprised by the amount of people who came out to see the show, saying that it felt more like a festival. They moved Wild Boys to the encore that night and ended up doing four songs for what he thinks may have been the first time.

Roger commented that he was happy to get “Anyone Out There” back out, along with “Astronaut”, and mentioned how lucky they were to do the NASA gig, too. He ended by saying how it “gets to a point in life where you’re really happy to still be in the room”, referring to the hundreds of other bands out there who were just as talented, but for some reason didn’t go the distance.

Above Ground

While in LA, Roger found time to attend a charity show benefitting Above Ground, an organization committed to working with musicians with varying types of mental illness including depression. The show featured many artists, including Billy Idol, whom Roger met that night for the second time.

The first meeting took place many years ago after Billy and his band Generation X played at Barbarella’s in Birmingham. Roger told a story about how he’d gone to see them play (they were his favorite band at the time), and they were booed offstage! During that time in Birmingham, punk was still very much on the scene, and Generation X had begun to slide a bit more mainstream – which did not go over with the crowd. Roger met Billy and had him sign his Generation X album, which remains the only album Roger has ever gotten signed.

When Roger met Billy in Los Angeles, he shared the memory of the show at Barbarella’s, and Billy remembered. I loved the anecdote, simply because it is endearing to hear of my own biggest idol meeting his idol. The only difference is that I’m still shy enough to where if I ran into Roger, I’m not sure what I’d say!

Album update

I know everyone chomps at the bit to hear news of what may be on the horizon. I’m happy to say that Roger was pretty forthcoming! He didn’t even need much prodding, and said that they are pretty well advanced on the album, citing Erol Alkan’s influence as producer, “He has given us a good boot up the backside!” Katy asked if there would be other producers on the album, and Roger said they worked a little with Mark (Ronson), and that there has been talk of Giorgio Moroder…but the bulk of the album would be completed with Erol Alkan.

The greatest news is that they’re hoping to have the album out by SPRING…which is amazing. Roger said that they had really only gotten back into the swing of things this past year, which means they’ve worked at a pretty decent speed.

Katy spoke of how it has been five years in between Paper Gods and this one (assuming it is released in 2020). I took pause at that. Has it really been that long?? I suppose so. I know that Amanda and I have tried to talk about just about anything but the album they’re working on – figuring that it will happen when the band is ready. Meanwhile, I guess we’ve all been busy!

Paper Gods was released in 2015, but as Roger explained – they toured the album extensively for a couple of years. So while it will be five years in between albums, it doesn’t seem like it has been that long to me. I would also say that having the band break up that time with the occasional run of shows has also helped!

The touring question

That brought the discussion around to why they haven’t toured in many of the places fans wanted. **Please note the disclaimer here. Do not shoot the messenger. **

If the band was able to tour so much with Paper Gods, why is it they focused on so few regions of the world?

Roger was very clear, explaining that “in America in particular, people do not forget [them] and show the love.” They are able to fill arenas, no matter how long the span of time has been from show to show. Katy continued, saying that she feels bad because she receives emails from fans wondering why the band doesn’t go other places. She says they don’t understand that while “they, and their friends…and even their friends friends will go see them, that just isn’t enough to fill an arena.”

In order to make touring in many places of the world economically viable, they don’t just need to fill an arena once, either. They need to be able to fill more than one, multiple times. Otherwise, the cost to ship and rent equipment along with transportation, housing, food, etc etc means that essentially, the band would be paying to tour, which wouldn’t work for long.

Vegas Residency Revisited

Katy asked Roger if they’d do a Vegas Residency. In my head, they’ve just done one – having played the Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan six times over the past 18 months or so. That seems like enough, doesn’t it? Roger paused, and said that it would have to be something very cool, mentioning the show, Love, the Michael Jackson show, Cirque du Soleil and even Elton John. He mused over how it would be to stay in Vegas for any length of time, suggesting that it is not the same as LA or New York, and he doesn’t know if he’d like that. Katy suggested living in LA and then commuting to Vegas for weekends. While I don’t think a residency is really on their radar, it didn’t sound to me as though Roger was ready to write off the possibility, either. We’ll see!

New dates??

Katy suggested that maybe there might be new dates prior to the release of the album, saying that maybe the East Coast would get some love this time – although they did do the NASA show in Florida. So, my East Coast people – don’t be surprised if the band suddenly pops dates and pre-sales on you before the holidays!! That’s your warning….

Until next time…

-R

With Chickens Standing Round

Caught inside MY own motion

Hello Wednesday! Today’s blog is going to be short, because I am injured. Yesterday, as I was trying to go in and clean up after my chickens, I stepped up into the coop only to trip, drop the 40 lb bag of stall refresher I was carrying and fall face first onto the floor. I tried to break my fall with my hand, but only managed to somehow jam my pinky into the chicken ladder leading up to their roost. At first, I thought I was fine, but my stupid finger is definitely not “fine”. I can’t imagine I broke it, but it’s not super straight right now, it’s bruised, a little swollen, and it hurts like hell. Typing is a challenge. On top of that, I managed to really scrape my left arm and shoulder, along with banging up my right knee. As I said to my friend Lori last night, I’m one fall away from a hip replacement. This is dumb and I object!

Meanwhile, there is this post to write!

If you haven’t followed, liked or subscribed…

I wanted to make a general appeal to the people who follow us on Twitter, or the folks who see our posts on Facebook. First of all, if you see our posts on Facebook but haven’t taken the time to like/follow our page – there’s no time like the present! The next year is going to get busy, and if you want to stay updated – that is the best way to do it! If you’ve already done that, please subscribe to this site and blog! We would really like to make more of an impact on Google, and that is one way to really help us with our visibility.

Ads, ads, ads…

I know many of you see the ads and hate them. I get it, and I recognize that they might be a put off. The fact is, we’ve been running a website now for nine years, and we get enough traffic to where we had to adjust our server accordingly. What was once a cheap hobby is now not so inexpensive on a yearly basis, and the ads along with our donate button help Amanda and I to cover some (but not nearly all) of those costs. We certainly appreciate your support. During the next year, I am hoping to upgrade our sound and video equipment so that when we travel or even do video calls at home, I’m able to put together reasonably decent footage rather than our current (very) amateur hatchet jobs . Many have asked us to do podcasts, and somehow, I suspect we will be doing some during the next year. They’ll never take the place of our blog posts or even the videos, but they’ll be additional to our content.

Security!!

Another housekeeping issue is the security “issue” that seems to keep cropping up for some (including myself, which is funny) when they try to open the site. First of all, let me assure you that Daily Duranie isn’t trying to “spoof” anyone. We aren’t trying to get your financial or personal details, and so the security notification many of you seem to get is unsubstantiated. That said, let me try to explain what is happening. When one owns a website, there is ample opportunity to buy a ton of crap for it that isn’t needed in every case. Security certificates are one of those things.

That certificate merely says that the site isn’t trying to steal information, and that it is keeping every transaction private. That is wonderful to have…if you’re selling something. We however, are not. We DO accept donations through PayPal, though. When you click on the “donate” button, you’re taken to PayPal directly in a different window, so the transaction isn’t happening on this site, and we do not save the information. When you click on “subscribe”, however, WordPress does save your email address. That’s it. The bottom line is that I felt buying a security certificate would be overkill for the few donations we receive. If this site began selling things or started to be a vendor marketplace for collectibles (for example), then the story would be different.

So, why does the screen pop up then? A lot of times, this happens after you’ve updated your device. It is not a “site” issue, it is a user-browser problem. It seems that once you’ve visited the site (and yes, you CAN visit the site even after that screen pops up. Simply just clicking on “visit site anyway” will get you here.), the problem goes away. I know we’re not the only website to have the issue though, and I am looking into what options I have, including just buying the certificate.

It’s time for a makeover!

Lastly, once my finger is better – I am likely going to be taking the site offline for a few days. Not even Amanda knows this, but I need to work on archiving some of our very old blogs because the site is huge (note to self: LEARN HOW TO DO THIS). Additionally, I’d like to completely overhaul the site with a makeover in honor of 2020 and #DD40! While I like the current site set-up, it’s time for a change. In order to do it though, the site has to be down for a bit so I can tinker, rearrange, and figure it all out. I’ll let you know when that is going to happen before I take it down though. If anyone has any ideas for things they’d like to see here – pass them on to us though our gmail!

Okay, despite my typing on just four fingers on my left hand – my pinky is throbbing, so I’m done for the day. I’ll be back tomorrow!

-R

Three To Get Ready

the lasting first impression is what you’re looking for – “First Impression”

The excitement of unwrapping a new cassette, CD, or vinyl record, and settling into a new listening experience retains its sense of excitement no matter how old we get. There is something magical about hearing new music from a favorite band and, often, the first three songs of the album are a strong indication of where you are headed together. The trio of songs that open U2’s The Joshua Tree and Prince’s 1999 are astoundingly good and a huge reason both are considered classic albums. Does Duran Duran have a trio on the same level? Maybe not but it made for a fun Duran Dissection project.

Duran Duran (1981)

The camera shutter of “Girls On Film” is certainly prophetic given Duran’s success in front of it on MTV and countless teen magazines. Then you get “Planet Earth”, a song that encapsulates a moment in time when all the various styles of the 1970s were coalescing into a new sound that would change the world. While “Anyone Out There” might have made it back into recent set lists because of the NASA show, it would be hard to find someone unhappy about it. Not necessarily single-worthy, “Anyone Out There” remains one of the strongest album tracks the band would ever record. 

Verdict: A- (I decided to use letter grades since Amanda is a teacher and we need more heroes like her on the front lines of education)

Rio (1982)

From the dark clubs of the New Romantic movement to the world stage, the more colorful sound of “Rio” is pop perfection and succinctly captures the spirit of the 1980s. The trio gets a little shaky, however, with the album version of “My Own Way”. No matter how much I love this album, there is always a voice in the back of my head telling Roger to speed it up on this song. I much prefer the Carnival remix and the night version to the original album version but maybe that’s just me. I also prefer the longer version of “Lonely In Your Nightmare” on the remixed US version of the album. The mood and atmosphere are allowed more time to capture your imagination. 

Verdict: B+

Seven & the Ragged Tiger (1983)

Nile Rodgers gets the A for his remix of “The Reflex” because the original is pretty flat overall. Given the anticipation for this record, it is a disappointing start. “New Moon On Monday” feels more fully realized but then the album loses momentum again with “(I’m Looking For) Cracks In the Pavement”. While not a horrible song, it isn’t essential to the album. One of the weakest opening runs of any Duran Duran album, it might have frightened casual fans away from the magic that awaits on side two. 

Verdict: C-

Notorious (1986)

A statement of purpose, the title song ring in a new era of Duran Duran that feels a little chippy (at least towards a flaky bandit). Then, “American Science” sways like a palm tree in the dark. Full of sophistication, the new Duran Duran were growing up faster than some fans; including me. The sexy “Skin Trade” should have faired better as a single and rounds out a thrilling opening suite of songs. The overall mood of the album comes through on these songs and all hold their own individually. 

Verdict: A

Big Thing (1988)

I sense that the title track is a love it or hate it moment in the band’s history. In 1988, I was definitely a little hair metal kid so the punch of it instantly appealed to me. Then, the band delivers two of their finest singles. I’ll argue all day that “I Don’t Want Your Love” and “All She Wants Is” are stronger singles than “The Reflex” and “New Moon On Monday”. OK, maybe I’m stretching it, but this album was criminally ignored by the industry. 

Verdict: A-

Liberty (1990)

I just waxed nostalgic over Liberty here so I’ll keep this brief. The first two songs are solid introductions to a slightly uncertain time for Duran Duran. That uncertainty turns into a hot mess on “Hothead”. I’ll leave it at that.

Verdict: D+

Duran Duran (1993)

Please, please let me know. Are we officially calling this The Wedding Album now? Despite the slight hypocrisy of the lyrics in “Too Much Information”, the song practically explodes from the speakers after the timid Liberty. Where would Duran have ended up had “Ordinary World” not turned the tide on their commercial free fall? I’d rather not think too hard about that. Unfortunately, “Love Voodoo” hints at some of the uneven music that follows on The Wedding Album

Verdict: B

Medazzaland (1997)

Experimental, bold, fresh. There are so many words to describe the mysterious Medazzaland album. The opening three songs are all of the above-mentioned adjectives and more. The album loses its luster the deeper you go but the opening trio lays to rest any concerns about Duran Duran bouncing back strong from the critical mess that was Thank You. It is hard to resist “Electric Barbarella” as a single. The percolating synths and guitars work well together. Its classic Duran Duran even if the video’s stab at humor fails to overcome the sexist premise.

Verdict: A-

Pop Trash (2000)

A new century of Duran Duran began with “Someone Else Not Me”, a fine song but a difficult album opener. Bordering on 60s psychedelic folk-pop, the song challenged us to open our minds to what Duran Duran could sound like. The opening guitar and drums of “Lava Lamp” could pass for a Matchbox 20 song before Nick and Simon arrive while the swirling “Playing With Uranium” manages a decent chorus. I find that I enjoy Pop Trash in a single listen so any three song run from this album leaves me indifferent.

Verdict: C-

Astronaut (2004)

And then they were back. “(Reach Up For the) Sunrise” has a chorus worthy of a stadium. It is contemporary but without sacrificing the values of early Duran Duran. “Want You More!” is the sort of synth-pop gold that the band used to dispense with ease. LeBon’s voice sounds particularly strong on “What Happens Tomorrow”, a mid-tempo rocker the band seems determined to put on every album since the success of “Ordinary World”. This time, it works out beautifully.

Verdict: A-

Red Carpet Massacre (2007)

Opener “The Valley” suffers from confusing production. This song should be a distant cousin to The Normal’s “Warm Leatherette” but it ends up trying to be something urban and hip. The title song and “Nite-Runner” are better examples of what the band was aiming for. It might have driven Andy to Ibiza and left me dreaming of what Reportage will someday sound like but this project has grown on me.

Verdict: B-

All You Need Is Now (2010)

Such an incredible album, the band hasn’t kept any of the songs in the set list since the tour ended supporting it. I’m not bitter. Yet. The title song is the best Duran Duran single since “All She Wants Is” and introduces an album that holds its own with the band’s best work during their imperial phase. “Blame the Machines” and “Being Followed” get the adrenaline racing with the perfect balance of synths and guitars. This is Duran playing to their strengths in every respect.

Verdict: A+

Paper Gods (2015)

One of the most instantly intriguing opening tracks the band has ever done. When the instruments come in, you can hear a little of M’s “Pop Muzik” buried in the DNA of the track. It’s an instantly likable blend of the band’s pop aspirations and art-school fixations. Of all the band’s albums, this one suffers the most from the sequencing. “Last Night In the City” is the sound of a screeching car crashing into a wall with some EDM blasting through the stereo. It feels out of place after the moody opener. “You Kill Me With Silence” feels like the appropriate follow-up to “Paper Gods” and doesn’t create such a disjointed listen. I could write an entire Daily Duranie piece on restructuring Paper Gods. Maybe, I will.

Verdict: C-

Someday, We Won’t Have a Choice

So in the interest of full disclosure, I’m writing this on Sunday night as opposed to trying to squeeze in writing time in the morning between school drop-off, groceries, and laundry.

Just a couple of hours ago, news broke that Ric Ocasek of The Cars was found dead in his NYC penthouse. He was 75. Earlier this week, news hit that Eddie Money passed away from cancer. Both musicians were a near constant on the radio back in the day, although I will admit that The Cars were much more of a personal favorite for me.

I was sitting outside on my patio, relaxing when I saw the news on Twitter. It was shocking enough for me to do a double take, and even as I sit here typing, I really struggle to believe it is all true. For me, The Cars were a mainstay. I have all of their albums, and I really can’t think of MTV
without remembering “You Might Think”. Tears sprung to my eyes as I read the vague news story about his death, thinking to myself that I would never have the chance to see The Cars live again.

This is why you buy the concert tickets.

Those words slammed into my heart as I thought about an argument I’d had yesterday morning with my husband. I’ve been priming him for a possible UK trip next year. I haven’t been abroad since late 2011 when I traveled with Amanda to see Duran Duran in December of that year. The trip was fantastic, and I knew even then that it wouldn’t be the last time. That said, timing is of the essence. We can’t travel when Amanda is teaching, and it is much harder for me to get away when I’ve got a child in school, too. The summer months are the only way, and naturally – I have no way of knowing when or if the band will do another tour in the UK. I’m hopeful.

The more I talk about our hope of returning, the more Duranies seem to be on board with the idea. Granted, it all hinges on whether or not Duran Duran decides to grace it’s own country with shows to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the band with Simon as frontman. If they do, I think we have enough people wanting to go to seriously consider chartering our own plane. (not that we would…but we could!) Of course, this excites me even more, and I mentioned it yesterday morning.

The response was not positive. In addition to a litany of other things that are neither here nor there, blog-wise, he questioned why on earth I need to keep going. “Haven’t you seen enough??”

I couldn’t put it into words yesterday, but upon hearing the news of Ric Ocasek dying, I had no trouble. THIS is why.

Like many of you, Duran Duran saved me when I was in middle school. The band was the one thing that kept me going. I felt like such an outcast back then. You think I’m socially awkward now? Ha! I’m not being melodramatic – I’m being real. Adolescence was a tough time. I hated nearly every part of it, except for the moments when I would lazily thumb through a teen magazine in search of new Roger Taylor pinups or articles about the top ten things John misses most while on tour, or when I’d listen to “Is There Something I Should Know”, or even when I’d see the video for “Hungry Like the Wolf” on MTV. Their songs are my songs – they are the soundtrack to much of my life. This fan community is my family. I already miss many of you, and it’s barely been a week. Someday, perhaps even very soon – I’m not going to have the choice to buy the ticket, or take the trip. I’ll be completely done seeing the band, whether I like it or not. Until then, I’m in a race against time to squeeze in as many shows, and joy, as I can.

I dread the day when we won’t have a choice to attend or not. Earlier this year, my friend Alana passed away after a serious bout with cancer. Not too many days go by before I think about how she and I talked about meeting at the next show. You just never know when it’s going to be the last time.

Buy the concert ticket.

RIP Ric Ocasek. Thank you for being just enough weird balanced with just the right amount of rock star greatness to keep me interested!

-R

The Story That We’ve Lived Through

Enough was never enough

Today is September 12, and in a weird way, I kind of like that I am the blogger on this day. (For those just joining us, I blog Monday through Thursday, while Amanda takes the Friday, Saturday and Sunday shift.) Nine years ago tomorrow, I posted our very first blog. Today, I’m posting the final blog of our eighth year of Daily Duranie.

Nine years ago, we were using Blogger as the platform, and I think it’s safe to say I didn’t know what I was doing.

OK, I’m not sure I really know what I’m doing now, either.

Anyway, I wrote the first post for the site. I think it was more of a hello than anything else. I’m fairly sure not one single soul read it, at least on that first day. Writing and posting felt like equal parts “Hello Diary” and “junior high school love note”, which I really liked, and still do. Awkward, shy, and wide-eyed, I posted that very first blog without really being aware of what it meant to be a blogger.

My karma train

My back story is simply that I was never one of the popular kids at school. Caught somewhere between nerd and loser, I did have a group of friends I hung out with until high school, and then I was in the marching band, which gave me a group of instant friends that I remain in touch with even today. During college, I joined a sorority, which was my worst attempt EVER to fit in. As it turns out, I don’t do especially well with large groups of females. I am sure this is not shocking to anyone out there but me. Suffice to say, I learned a lot about myself back then. I had fun being a Zeta, but I’m not your average sorority girl.

In adulthood, particularly as a stay-at-home mom, the isolation can be the worst, and it really was for me. I joined the MOMS Club (again, more females…but I survived), tried PTA (never, ever, again), and then reacquainted myself with Duran Duran. Thank goodness for Duran Duran. I mean that. Had it not been for this band, I think I would have lost my mind.

I don’t know what it is about me, but I was never quite satisfied with just going to shows or just being an onlooker. That’s the way I am about most things. I like to get involved! As shy as I am (and believe me, I am), I want to get in there and get my hands dirty. So when I joined a message board, I didn’t just read, I became a prolific poster. When someone wanted to organize a convention, I didn’t just attend, I joined the committee. (That was the best thing I’ve ever done in my entire life, aside from being a mom to my three children.) In short, I seek approval. It is devastating to me when I don’t get it. To sum it up, my friends, seeking approval is my own personal kryptonite.

My catch twenty two

So when people ask me why we’re still blogging, even nine years later, the real reason—the one I don’t talk about often because it shines too bright of a light on who I *really* am— is that I don’t want to be forgotten. I need that approval. It is my “love language”, as my oldest child has told me. Blogging has been about the only way I feel like I’m included, or get approval by many (but definitely not all) out in Duranland.

That’s the downside of blogging, right? On one hand, we have people come up to us or send us notes telling us how much they love what we do – and there’s really no way for me to put into words how high my heart soars and swells when we get those notes or when someone says that to us. On the other, there is a certain motivation that exists in a very competitive, female-driven atmosphere where some would rather tear people down, than give them a hand up, or admit that they matter.

The downside of blogging has taken me a while to come to terms with, and it is my ongoing achilles heel. As someone who desperately wants to be liked and accepted, it is horrendous when I know that I’m not. I try to pretend that my feelings don’t get hurt from time to time, but of course they do. I’m human. It is hard not to notice when someone is disgusted by your existence, and I very much admire people who are able to brush it off. I’m not. I’m working on it.

Strong is the human chain

You would think—oh hell, *I* would have thought—that by the time I was nine years into this thing, I’d have it all figured out by now. I don’t. Not much has really changed. I can still walk past the Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan on a Sunday night with loads of Duranies in there – and either females will watch me walk past and whisper, or they don’t even notice at all. I’m not really sure which is worse. Thank goodness for Amanda. She doesn’t mind me (much).

So after nine years, what does it really mean to be a blogger?

A blogger protects their relationships. My friendship with Amanda is the most important thing about this website. She is my best friend, and knows far too much. <grin>

Dig in deep

I find that blogging has a lot more to do with the willingness to learn and uncover things about yourself, than it probably does the subject you’re writing about. I mean, I have learned far more about myself than I have Duran Duran during these nine years. My best posts, the ones I am most proud of, are the ones where I open up. No, they don’t always have something directly to to do with Duran Duran. However, those posts, or the subjects within, absolutely have a part in being a fan.

Blogging means being honest – even if your feelings upset people. All you have as a blogger is your own word. You have to be willing to own and defend your thoughts, and then be able to let them go. You’re not always liked. Sometimes people love what you say, and other times, they hate it. Readers and fans hold onto anger and grudges for FAR longer than I do, that is for sure.

Once you hit “publish”, your job as a blogger is done. The words don’t belong to you any longer, and they’re up to others to interpret. Sometimes, that works really well. Other days, it is a slow train wreck. Those are the moments when it is time to shut the laptop, and walk away. It took me a long time to learn to just walk away, but I can promise it was the most valuable skill I’ve ever learned (from blogging).

A feeling that runs so deep

Nine years. I just never thought we’d still be writing. I don’t mind marveling about it at the risk of getting hate mail from someone about bragging. Nearly every day for nine years we’ve written something. I’m proud of that, and I’m looking forward to at least nine more.

I hope the band is prepared to go that long. We’ll keep at it as long as you do!

Oh, that reminds me – tomorrow, in honor of our anniversary, Amanda and I are going to record a video and celebrate with cocktails, so that should be interesting. The blog, or vlog in this case, will be posted LATE tomorrow, so check it out over the weekend!

-R

A Durandipitous Sunday Night

It is rare when Jason submits an article to Daily Duranie without a title…and when he does, I take full advantage. “Durandipitous” is my newest word creation. It’s not a word, you say? It is now. -R

I wasn’t going to go. The amount of Duran Duran shows coming through Vegas since Paper Gods was released had worn me down. It’s an emotional experience to dig deep into my soul and light the fuse of nostalgia. And tickets are getting out of hand in Sin City. The last pair of dates left a sour taste in my mouth with two predictable and pretty much identical set lists. I could miss this weekend and hold out for a new album and tour while saving up to someday get a seat up front. 


A visit to Jeff and Jason’s pop-up shop on Friday got my juices flowing. Then, the Duranies met up that night at a Tiki bar and the cocktails started to flow. I met Larry, who first saw Duran Duran in Miami, FL on the Big Thing tour. Same as me! If nothing else, the Daily Duranie party on Sunday was a must for me. There is something special about the Duran community these days. We are survivors, and the band’s continued success is our sweet reward. 
Playing StubHub bingo, I hit refresh about 5,733 times throughout the meet-up to no avail. If I was going to clean out my PayPal fun money for a ticket, it wasn’t going to be a standing room, obstructed view night. Honestly, seeing the passion and swapping stories about Duran was all I needed. Instead, there I was, watching everyone go into the show, ready to head home. Then, a Paper Goddess walked up and granted me a miracle. I was in. Not only that, I was sitting next to the curators of the pop-up shop and two of the most inspiring fans I know: Jeff and Jason. This was Durandipity! 


Opening with “Hungry Like the Wolf” is a masterful stroke. As much as I love a moody, art-pop opener like “Paper Gods”, the energy of a major single sets fire to the room. The casual fans are instantly on their feet, which is essential to a good show. I’m not sure if “I Don’t Want Your Love” counts as a major hit, but nobody sat down after the opener, and the energy was building.  While “A View To A Kill” isn’t Simon’s strongest vocal, he sells it like an exuberant uncle playing James Bond at Halloween. 


If I came for one song, it was “Anyone Out There”, which had surfaced at some recent shows. The excitement of hearing that turned out to be just the start. I never expected to hear “Astronaut”, but the opening synth of “The Chauffeur” is when I officially lost my mind. It is the one classic that I never heard live, and I had not seen it on many set lists. The video cut out a few times so maybe the video engineer was even caught off guard. It didn’t matter, the pocket of Duranies that I saw the show with were singing at the top of their lungs and there were hugs and hi-fives all around. Next to “The Seventh Stranger” earlier this year, it is probably my favorite live Duran moment so far. 


The surprises continued with a rocking “(Reach Up For the) Sunrise” with the “New Moon On Monday” snippet, but the “Planet Earth” mash-up with David Bowie stole my heart. As a music critic, my fandom often finds itself in conflict with the more honest and rationale side of my brain. This Duran Duran show more than satisfied both sides of my being. The band sounded energized, playing with a little swagger instead of going through the motions and the set list was a gift to fans. What a night!


The recent NASA show obviously served as an impetus for this short run of shows, but the thematic arc of the set represented more than that for me. As cartoon spaceman flew around the screens above the band, I kept picturing MTV moon men; the award given at the Video Music Awards in the 1980s. Perhaps they still give them away but I can’t be bothered to go see what MTV is up to in 2019. Still regarded as a video band by many, the band have proven to be so much more and all the moon man imagery of this tour playfully pokes anyone who would disagree. 


It’s hard to choose a favorite set list from a band but Sunday night in Las Vegas is probably it for me. It delivered surprises and the band seemed to have an extra gear that, honestly, isn’t there every show. When a set list changes night to night, musicians cannot lapse into muscle memory and it leads to a better performance. I see enough shows to feel confident in that assessment. I count myself lucky to have been there singing “The Chauffeur” on Sunday night and even luckier to have found a tribe of so many amazing Duranies, especially one Paper Goddess who made it all possible. Thank you. 

There’s a World to Find

It has been a weekend!

I think this is Tuesday… I’m late, and I missed blogging yesterday. Driving by car from here to Vegas takes six hours, and it is not fun. No seriously, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

I’m going to try to catch-up from when we last left you (readers), and then do a weekend summation. I believe I’m fairly coherent after finally getting a full-night’s sleep. Let’s hope for the best, and prepare for the worst, as I like to say.

Nothing to hang on

So, the last blog was on Sunday, but that was before our final meet-up and the show. Lots to cover here, and without Amanda, well…you’ve all got to be hoping my memory is intact.

It’s not, so let’s just get that out of the way right now. Your expectations (and especially yours, Amanda), need to be very low.

*Four paragraphs just to get to this point. Wow. You all may need refreshments along with a brief intermission before this is over. Good luck!

More than she will hope for

On Sunday, Amanda and I took a walk in what felt like 350-degree heat to visit our friends Jeff and Jason (one host of the Duran Duran fan party at the Chandelier Bar on Saturday) at their pop-up DD collector shop. As we trudged through the dry desert heat, I told Amanda that I would not be purchasing, and that I hoped they didn’t mind. She replied that we were there in support, and that it was the right thing to do for friends. I figured we’d just talk a lot. I mean, who doesn’t want to talk music?!?

We walked in, and I immediately announced that I’d be purchasing the two tapestries they had available, and that I was looking to see what else I wanted. I ended up with two other books on my stack. Hey, those were for RESEARCH. Amanda bought two other books as well.

So it turns out that I do have a Duran Duran problem. My husband might have been right about that, but I’m not telling him. God, no.

Looking back she sees the pattern

After that, we went to visit our other friend Jason (I know a lot of people named Jason these days, but this one guest blogs for us on occasion!) who manages operations at the Hard Rock Cafe across the street. We were graciously given the “Daily Duranie” discount, had great food, and saw some Duran Duran videos. Who says we don’t have connections???

By that time, we had to get back to the Cosmo and get ready. Our final meet-up was that night. I felt like a dead-battery that needed a jump. We got ready and went down to the Clique.

Happy when her heart is jumping

Sadly, we’re going to need a new meeting place should the band ever play at The Cosmopolitan again. (actually, I’m kind of hoping we’re done with shows at The Cosmo and Vegas for a little while…) While they were super kind to us in December and February, in football season it is torturous, loud, and quite frankly – not music fan friendly. It *is* a sports bar, so I get it, but the environment was just far louder this time than last. No matter, our guests were good sports (no pun intended), and we made the best of it!

There’s always this panic that goes through me during the first 20-30 minutes of a meet-up. Will anyone show? Even though this time, we weren’t doing anything formal – just drinks – Amanda and I didn’t want to be at that big table are by ourselves. Thankfully, those fears were laid to rest pretty quickly. We filled the table, the area around the table, and even the table in back of us! It made me happy to see people mingling, meeting others, and hopefully even making new friends. Hey, it happened that way for Amanda and I, so why not others?

All too quickly, we were headed to the Cosmo. Funny thing about that – Amanda and I nearly got lost along the way. I always get turned around in that hotel, and this night was no exception. I started making comments about how Duran Duran may need to send out a search party for us. (“Um, Daily Duranie is missing and has sent out SOS messages…. Can anyone go find them?”) We crack ourselves up. Tears were streaming down my face as we rounded a corner and saw the massive line waiting to get in through security. Apparently, we weren’t lost at all. Go figure. Yes, we’re idiots. This is fine.

Runway Runaway

So…about that show. I don’t want to just rehash the whole thing with a blow-by-blow account. It wouldn’t be fair to anyone else about to see them, yet I do want to comment on a few things.

  • I love the way the band has changed up their set, and continues to do so. The show didn’t feel quite so completely choreographed, and I prefer not knowing what is going to happen next. It makes every single show feel fresh, and honestly – the band themselves look like they are having ONE HELL of a great time on that stage. I want to be a part of that! Oh wait, I was…along with everyone else in the audience!! Having a basic framework of a set, but then being able to interchange the songs within makes all of the difference. I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. Even now, I sit here thinking that I should have just sprang for the extra shows and gone, because I can’t imagine what I might miss out on. In my head, that is exactly what you want your audience to be thinking about, too.
  • On that night, I heard Anyone Out There, Planet Earth, The Chauffeur, Sunrise (I may have actually cursed out loud when that started up because it was so unexpected and I love it!)/New Moon on Monday, Astronaut (and I’m sure I’m forgetting some)…it was fantastic. Every song was a surprise, and there was no room to be disappointed. I surely wasn’t!
  • I wanted to make another comment about Anyone Out There. Simon’s performance of this song was extraordinary. He sounded so incredible, it sends chills up and down my spine just thinking about it. What’s more, I think he knows how great he sounds – his smile was 50 yards wide, and that just made it all that much more special to hear. I loved it beyond measure.
  • Thank you for playing Planet Earth. That’s Amanda’s very favorite song, and she was overjoyed to see it performed again. I think she was on Cloud Nine after that.
  • Nicholas Rhodes…what are we going to do with you?!? Oh, the smugness. The grins. The laughter. Sure, we saw you laugh after we ducked at just the precise moment for “White Lines”. Yes, our backs were drenched, and we enjoyed the interaction!
  • The show was over so fast (they always are no matter how long the band plays), but we had such a great time! We still feel really lucky whenever the timing and universe gets together so that we’re able to see shows together, and this past weekend was no exception.

Everything familiar

Overall, the weekend was fun. It is always just a little more “extra” for the Vegas show weekends. Think about it – the fans and the band, gathered together for an extended period. It is a recipe for disaster.

I was ready to find a quiet corner and talk about our writing project, which we did in the wee hours. We could see a large group of fans on the other side of the bar, but Amanda and I decided to go for a little more solitude and peace. Turns out, we weren’t the only two people wanting a little more breathing room – but we weren’t there to stalk or do the “fangirl” thing, so we left Dom and his friend to themselves after he waved hello. Amanda and I managed to talk through a little more of the work we’ve got ahead. I’m excited about the potential with this one!

Say goodbye

Our meet-ups went very well. Going into the weekend, Amanda and I had agreed that since there seems to be many more people wanting to plan these parties, that we probably won’t do more of them after this. At the time, we felt like we’d had a good run, but that if it takes drama to just do the same thing we’ve always done – that we’ll graciously bow out and let others have a go at it. For us, the intention wasn’t a popularity contest, or for the band to acknowledge the parties. We hosted them for fun and friendship. If something was going to get in the way of that, then it was taking away from the original intent. That’s not what we want.

So, our plan was just to host whomever showed up this weekend, and just to quietly let the pre-show meet-ups go. After all, she and I could still go to a bar for pre-show drinks, and tweet it out to whomever is in the area without it being a big announcement or planned event.

Choose another road

That was before we met Jason Frye. As I mentioned earlier, he is the person who hosted the large meet-up in February, and also co-hosted the one this past weekend. At the time we planned ours, Jason immediately reached out to us, and explained he’d also put one together for the same day, but earlier and at a different bar. He enthusiastically agreed that we could have both without a problem, which was the knowledge Amanda and I carried with us for the past several months, and into the weekend.

We met Jason on Saturday, and I want to make sure he knows that we think he is wonderful in every single way. He is warm, welcoming, inclusive, and very enthusiastic about this band. In short, we’re lucky to call him a real friend. Expect to see more Daily Duranie pre-show meet-ups in the future, and don’t be surprised if you see us working directly with Jason (and Jeff too!) for whatever might be coming in 2020.

Trying to be strong enough

In just a few days, we will be celebrating our ninth anniversary (or birthday) for Daily Duranie. I never, ever thought I’d still be blogging. Thinking about it dumbfounds me. How on earth do we come up with new things to say every day?? We just do it. This site is almost like an additional appendage at this point. It is part of my day, and I don’t think I could easily stop. Duran Duran and Daily Duranie occupy the same sort of space in my heart.

It isn’t always easy. I’ve found that when I persevere through the not-so-fun times, the validation is on just the other side. This weekend proved that point over and over. I get a lot out of writing this blog. Much of it on a deeply personal level, and most of the time – I’m quiet about it. These types of weekends though give me the more tangible moments. Big hugs from friends. Laughing until I cry. Listening to someone sharing their big fan story. Seeing someone get emotional over our blog. Hearing someone tell me that they can attribute many of their friends to going to one of our events. That stuff is priceless to me.

Maybe I am not explaining it well. I don’t work for a living. Sadly, not even our website ads pay off that much! Cooking, cleaning, taking kids to wherever…feeding my zoo… that is what I do. Much of it doesn’t come with “atta-girl” moments. There’s not really a Friday paycheck, for that matter. I collect all of that “pay” when I go to these events, or when someone emails us to tell us how much they adore something we’ve done. A lot of my validation comes from the subtle and not so subtle thank-you’s, and I can’t tell you how much that means to me as a person. Forget Daily Duranie, or even being a Duran Duran fan – hearing that something I did actually matters to someone else – blows me away. So I tuck all of that into my heart for reflection on the days when I need it most. Thank YOU for reading.

More tomorrow.

-R

Coming Out of My Cage

(yes, I know that’s a line from The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside”. It fit, and I’m in a hurry. Sorry!!)

This is going to need to be a super quick post, because I’m chin-deep in tasks that must be accomplished before I am allowed out of my cage tomorrow.

Alright, I’m kidding about the cage – but I really do have a lot to finish. You’d think the house could run itself for four or five days, but that’s not the case at all. Unfortunately, my husband is so used to me doing it all so that he can focus on his job, that he really isn’t going to be able to take over seamlessly during my absence. I’m just hoping the youngest makes it to school on time, isn’t left at school at the end of the day, and that no one (including the cats, dog & chickens), dies…which concerns me because at our last discussion, my husband said that feeding the chickens wasn’t his first priority, and that maybe I could just leave out enough food and water so they could manage until the weekend when he’d have time.

At some point, I’m going to use that last sentence in reference to something my husband needs for himself….so I’ve filed it away for later. Meanwhile, I’ve got things to do!!

I’d genuinely forgotten just how difficult it is for me to leave when school is in session – we homeschooled for so long that I grew accustomed to having flexibility. Yeah, not so much these days. This is the last time I’ll try to go anywhere during the school year, that is for sure. It isn’t easy when you don’t have support, and I really don’t have someone that can double for me around here.

Speaking of which, I need to remember to write down the schedule for feeding the animals…along with what to feed them!!

Moving on…tickets are printed, snacks have been bought, and I’m still working on laundry while I ask myself why I ever thought this was a good idea anyway. *sigh* Yes, it’s pretty much the same as normal around here. I’m pretty sure I’ll be reminded “why” tomorrow night as I cheer during (oh yes) “Hungry Like the Wolf”.

Off to fluff, fold, and eventually PACK!

-R

We’ll Light Up the Land

Welcome to Tuesday, or as I like to call it – two days before I leave for Palm Springs! I have a million items on my “to-do” list. I have a full-house of family. To top it off…we had no electricity from about 7am yesterday until about 1am today. Oh, and it’s also been about 100 degrees here during the day. So…yay?

It’s Travel Time!

I saw that some members of the band were already making their way to the west coast, or may already even be here, which is very exciting. It’s hard to believe the time has nearly arrived. I’m looking forward to seeing Amanda and my other friends this weekend!!

The thing is, and I think most will understand – I would swear it takes a super human effort to make it all happen sometimes. Getting out of here is going to be nuts. There are scheduling issues, I’m having to remind my husband of school start and dismissal times for my youngest, the chickens are something that my husband doesn’t not normally manage….and the laundry.

Oh….the laundry right now… ugh. Thanks PG&E for taking 18 hours to get our electricity back working. But hey, we’ve got power!!

Vegas Parties and Meet-ups!

Just a reminder that we are meeting for drinks in the Clique Bar on the first floor of the Cosmopolitan, both nights before the show. We’ll be there around 5pm, and everyone is welcome to join us. This is meant to be an informal, relaxing, and judgment-free gathering. If that’s something that appeals to you, and you’ve got time before the show, by all means come down and say hello. We’d love to hang out! There are snacks and small plates available at the. bar as well, which is one reason why we choose this place as our pre-show hangout in Vegas.

There is also a party hosted by other Duran fans taking place in the Chandelier Bar at 1pm on SATURDAY. We encourage everyone to do as much or as little as they’d like. The whole point is to meet people and have a blast!

Oh yes, there are several of us getting into Vegas on Friday afternoon that have decided to get together for early evening drinks. If you’re going to be in town early on Friday and don’t have plans – let me know!

Lastly… If anyone is still looking for Vegas tickets – I know of someone who may still have tickets available for 9/7 (Saturday) in Floor 4. Send me an email (dailyduranie@gmail.com) and I’ll connect you.

Can’t Forget Palm Springs

I don’t know if anyone is headed to Palm Springs on Thursday, but I will be there along with my sister. Our schedule is pretty tight that day, given that we’re driving from the central coast to get there – but I’m hoping to see people before and/or after the show! We’re not staying at the Agua Caliente this time, but we’ll be around.

I’m off to spend some time with my sister and oldest daughter…and tackle the to-do list!

-R