Tag Archives: Duran Duran

Expect the Unexpected

Have you watched Roger’s Desert Island Discs yet? In their ongoing effort to teach us all to expect the unexpected, it’s Roger’s turn to shine.

In this first (I hope he does more!) episodes, Roger talks about The Beatles, Jackson 5, Generation X, David Bowie and of course, Duran Duran. (can’t really forget them, can we?) In just under 15 minutes, I think I learned more about Roger’s musical journey than I knew previously. I loved hearing about what made him into the person he is, and I hope he agrees to do more.

Isn’t that what has really been interesting about all of this? We have Simon doing his “radio” show with Katy, John deconstructing bass parts and having chats with other notables on Instagram, Nick gave a lengthy interview with Red Ronnie, and now Roger is talking about the music that changed his life. While the common thread is music, I have really enjoyed hearing from each band member in their own way, perhaps in formats that are most comfortable for them. It just isn’t all about Duran Duran, and it shouldn’t have to be. I think about that a lot while I’m listening.

I would go out on a limb to say that perhaps that is the one “thing” that has been missing previously when they’ve done sporadic Q&A’s on Twitter, or even in other interviews – there’s not been a way for them to really BE themselves when they’re facing a battering line of questions from fans, or even when they’re doing interviews for press. It would be like listening to someone talk about their job for 40 years. While sure, it’s interesting, isn’t there more to them than that? Of course!! I just don’t think they’ve ever had the right avenue, or maybe even the reason, to share much more, until now.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know that any of the band is ever going to sit and dish about their private life. Sharing a song, deconstructing a bass line, chatting with a fellow musician, though – those things have real merit in a multitude of ways. I’m finding that I spend more time listening to music, exploring new sounds, and enjoying the journey that seems to take place weekly with these guys. Who knew?

I shared some of my concerns with Amanda over a Zoom “happy hour” chat last week. When this pandemic first began to unfold and it became clear that there wasn’t going to be a tour or live dates for Duran Duran (or anyone else) in 2020, I was a little concerned. How would the band respond? Would they even try to engage fans? Did they need to? Reaching a fan base through online methods seemed like it might be a bit of a reach. Sure, other bands and artists have responded in their own way, but I wasn’t sure what Duran Duran would do, or might be willing to do. This isn’t a band that has anything left to prove. Their career stands on its own. Did they have anything left to say – some might say yes, given that they’re still writing. Musically, I’d agree. They’ve got some left in the tank. Beyond that though? Dealing with us – fans – is a very different animal. They could wait the pandemic out, do their own thing, and re-emerge in a safer time. We’d likely still be there, right? Would we? My concern was that maybe, just maybe, they’d decide to just stop. The words look strange to me, but in my head, I thought the idea of no music for a year or possibly more could give the band a lot of time to think. Would it be easier to quit? I didn’t know, but I wondered.

Thankfully, this isn’t a band we should ever try to second guess, or count out. Each time they come up with something new to keep us thinking is a way they engage with fans. If I’m anyone to judge by – consider it successful. I don’t clear my incredibly busy (ha ha ha) schedule to watch John talk about his bass lines in songs just because I fan girl. I’ve learned a lot about the evolution of the songs I love most during the past few weeks. Simon has made me laugh and think about music I’ve never heard before. It’s been fantastic. Today, I learned that Roger also listened to the Jackson 5 during his formative years – just like me. He’s also a Beatles fan. As if I didn’t already love him.

Okay, so there’s been a little fan girling along the way. Sue me.

Forty years on now, and I’m still glad this is my band.

-R

Let’s Meet Jason!

At some point over the last couple of weeks, I realized I’ve never properly interviewed our own intern! Here we are, several months into Jason’s stellar career as our very own intern, his star steadily rising into the stratosphere….and many of you (okay…I mean I) know next to nothing about him. I figured that I had better rectify the situation because before you know it, he’ll be way too busy to do little interviews with yours truly.

Luckily, Jason found himself with a little extra time while he’s furloughed from his day job, and was happy to indulge me with answering a few questions and having a chat. Be sure to check out our big announcement towards the end of the video, too!

-R

Surprising Fireworks and Sudden Silence

I’m a big fan of the deeper thinking questions that DDHQ occasionally throws out to fans for contemplation. Yesterday was no exception as they asked what was our fondest Duranlive memory.

Invariably when I see these questions, I end up stumped. Sometimes, the answer is as clear as day and I’ll post, but other times, like yesterday, I can’t think of a single memory that stands out above all others. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t because I don’t have great memories. Hardly. It’s because I have so many.

My time as a Duran Duran fan has been such a bright light in my life. I’m not talking about the time I’ve blogged, or even the time I’ve been a host at a party or a convention, though. I mean the times when I am simply a fan. I’m not half of Daily Duranie, not even L8BarMom. Just some…woman…standing in an audience, cheering for her favorite band. There’s no question, at least not in my head, that I’ve loved being a fan of this band. The music fuels my daydreams, motivates my words, and keeps me coming back for more. I couldn’t be more grateful.

Even so, I have no doubt that if it hadn’t been for my friendship with Amanda, I wouldn’t have gone to half as many shows as I have over the years. It is far too easy for me to say “I can’t”, and let it go at that. In fact, that’s what happened with the Vegas shows that were just cancelled. I didn’t even talk with her about them, I just said “I can’t”, and went about my day. While that might have made my life easier here at home at the time, it wouldn’t have made my heart quite as full.

Maybe not so surprisingly, I have thought quite a bit about the shows we’ve been to over the years, particularly lately. It’s so weird to me that so few of the memories seem any more “over the top” to me than others. One time that comes to mind – and I mean, it happened within a blink of an eye – was when I realized they were actually playing Secret Oktober in Brighton back in 2011. Context is important here, so let me describe it.

Amanda and I had already made one trip to the UK that year, and so we’d gotten ourselves to Brighton by sheer luck again in November of 2011. I say “luck” because we managed to get there despite a union walkout for public transportation, leaving my family, Amanda leaving her job, I don’t know how we made it work, but we did. I’d been begging for the band to play Secret Oktober at one of those shows…for months. Make no mistake, I knew the chances were about none, but I begged anyway. We’d gotten to Brighton in time, went to our crazy modern hotel, got ready and got ourselves to the show. There we stood in our spots, and all of the sudden this song starts and I’m not sure what it is until I KNEW what it was. If only to have a picture of my jaw hitting the ground that night at the precise moment I knew what they were playing…the rest of the song is an absolute blur to me, but that moment? Golden. Amanda and I hugged one another, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt that much pure love and joy in a single second.

There are a ton of precious memories like that, occupying space in my head. I’m lucky. The thing is, most of those memories are just of being in the audience. Sometimes I can’t even remember where I was standing at the time – front row, fourth row, tenth row or beyond – it doesn’t matter now. I couldn’t tell you what was on the set list at the time, or what I was wearing, or even where the concert was at the time. The only thing that seems to matter was that I was there, with Amanda, and we were having the time of our lives watching this band that we’ve grown up watching.

Sure, some small things stand out. Like the time Roger shook my hand, when Dom flicked a pick my way once, when he ran over to be sure and grab my hand, every single time we duck from Simon’s baptismal blast during during White Lines…and seeing Nick look down at us and laugh in response, and when John looks our way. Those moments, though, aren’t necessarily what my mind drifts towards first. Just being there, basking in the glory of still being a fan of this music. Marveling in my head that I can still go see my favorite band along with my best friend. How could I ever have gotten so lucky?

A lot of things have changed in the past couple of months. I’m really not sure when I’ll feel comfortable traveling again. Getting on a plane again does not excite me. Wearing a mask in order to go to a show isn’t going to happen for me. Donning one for an entire plane ride is my idea of hell. I’ll just drive, thanks. I’m so thankful I did all of the things I could in the years before this stupid pandemic, because who knows when I’ll do them again next?

Thinking about being in the audience of any Duranlive experience brings a smile to my face, and sometimes, even laughter. Today more than ever, I realize how lucky I’ve been. I don’t think I can say that enough these days.

-R

Deep Listening

How often do you completely unplug from the world, even for a single hour, put on an album and just listen?

Recently, I read an article sent to me by a friend (shout-out to David O) about deep listening to albums. In this case, the article posed a challenge to the reader. Turn off your phone, shut off the voices in your head, and give full attention to not one, but three albums of your choice.

I’m about to get real with y’all on this Monday morning. I struggle with giving anything my full attention these days. I mean, I really and truly grapple with it. The idea of trying to do this for three hours while listening to albums feels very much like challenging myself to run a marathon. My brain can’t do it, much less my body! When I’m sitting on the couch watching a movie, I’m playing with my phone. If I’m not playing some sort of game, I’m crocheting. If I’m outside listening to music, I’m also reading emails, or reading a book. While I’m attempting to sit and listen to music, even on Spotify, my mind is racing in the background, thinking about whatever I should be doing (instead of listening). And those situations are just the tip of the iceberg, unfortunately.

Some of this, I believe, is training. In today’s world, we don’t allow ourselves any sort of time to just be still, unless of course we’re sleeping. (Which, by the way – I often wake up in the middle of the night, immediately thinking of the things I need to do, forgot to do, or don’t want to do) During the day, it’s a constant series of multitasking. What can I take to the laundry room with me as I drop off the clothes into the washer? While coffee is being made, do I have time to clean the chicken coop or collect eggs and get back up to the garage before it is finished? If I sit and listen to an album from a new band for 45 minutes, maybe I can read from a book I’ve been working on at the same time. “Whoosh” on Duran Duran Radio? I’ll listen to that while I’m pulling weeds. Can I run to the grocery store and still make it to school in time for pickup? It was, and still is, a constant series of tasks and time management. Sitting down, doing nothing and listening to music, or watching a movie, for an hour or more? ARE YOU NUTS?

My brain has grown very used to never focusing on one single thing at a time, but at least a few, if not tens of things. In some ways, it’s great, and in others, it’s horrible. Not one single thing ever gets my complete focus…unless I’m at band rehearsal. Oddly, as I was sitting here writing, I realized the one thing that still gets my complete focus is playing music. More on that later.

One might think that in times of a pandemic, I’d learn how to settle down and recenter myself. Maybe I’d slow down and take my time. I’d argue it’s been the opposite. Funny, I thought having my entire family home would be of great relief to me, and I suppose it is in some ways, but in others – there’s never a spare moment until the time my head hits the pillow each night. Having adult children at home doesn’t mean more help. In fact, I’d argue it means having them revert back to being teenagers in a lot of ways – with animals in tow. (I know it could be their own babies, and for my kids and their current situations – I am thankful it is not. They’re not ready. *I* am not ready, for that matter.)

The article couldn’t really have come at a better time for me. I needed the reminder that life can wait, at least occasionally. As I mentioned last week, I’ve begun challenging myself with the prospect of finding new music. I am forcing myself out of the box, I bought the premium Spotify subscription, and the search has begun.

What I’m finding is that while some music belongs in the background, other music takes my full attention. Things I may have written off as pure pop last week or last month may actually have a deeper message. You’d think I would have learned that from our own Paper Gods, but no. No I didn’t. My education continues.

As I wrote a bit earlier, the one thing that I have no trouble giving my full-self to is playing music. I think that is why I found band practice to be such a joy. For two full hours, I thought of nothing but the music on the page. In hindsight, I can remember that blissful feeling I’d have during rehearsal. Never once did I reach for my phone while in that rehearsal space. My full attention would be on playing clarinet. I’d leave the band room feeling completely calm and satiated, almost dreading walking back in the door at home because I knew that all of the same tasks I left (dishes in the sink, cleaning up from dinner, making sure the youngest was on her way to bed) would still be there waiting. Band rehearsal, and of course, practicing when possible, was the one thing I gave myself, and allowed myself to get completely caught up in.

Even when I had to force myself not to give into the urge to stay at home (those first few initial rehearsal sessions were brutal, and it was only the last rehearsal when I really hit my stride, naturally), once I got to the band room and dug in, it was total peace. When I think about it, even though practice was difficult – I felt completely centered, calm, and more “myself” than ever. I didn’t have to think about anything else other than playing the right keys, hitting the correct notes, my timing, counting the measures correctly, listening to the people around me, watching our director, and performing as part of an ensemble. Compared to the daily rigors of life, for me anyway, it was simple. I miss that.

I have yet to take up the full three-hour listening challenge as described in the LA Times article, but I might -just as soon as I find the three empty hours in my daily schedule. Maybe it is better to just take an hour. A single album, even! Could you do it? If you try it, let me know how it goes, and what you listened to!

-R

Continuing to Trust the Process

Two things today:

First off, if you’re not already watching John’s bass tutorials on Wednesday, you should. They’re fairly short – this last one clocking in at a teensy bit over seven minutes – and they are highly entertaining, particularly if, like me, you’ve always wanted a birds eye view of what the song evolutionary process is really like!

Yesterday, John went into a little depth about Girls on Film, diving in and explaining everything from the beginning groove to finished bass line product. Dissecting the song to this level, down to the beginning thoughts of using octave intervals as the bass line, made my ears happy. I loved hearing the differences over the course of the process, and yes – one can see how you really do have to “Trust the Process” when it comes to songwriting. I can hardly wait for more!

Along those same lines, I tuned back in to listen to John welcome Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles) to a Q&A session. I must admit that while I’ve enjoyed a few of their (The Bangles) songs over the years, I’ve never been a die hard fan. Listening to Susanna talk about her career was fresh and new to me. She seems delightful and kind, not at all “Hollywood Fake-y”, which I appreciated. Somewhere deep and hidden within the cobwebbed caverns of my brain, I vaguely recalled hearing that Prince had written “Manic Monday” for them. Listening to Susanna explain how she drove herself down to Prince’s studio to get it, and then what it felt like to hear it for the first time, gave new life to a fun and easy song I never minded hearing on the radio. Good old pop music, right?

The best part of John’s Q&A sessions is that so far, they’ve encouraged me to seek new music. Last week, after he chatted with Dave from Chromeo, I spent some quality time with Spotify and their catalog, enjoying a lot of what I heard. Later today, it’s time for some of Susanna’s music. She’s even writing a novel, which I’m looking forward to reading when it comes out. My point of course is that it’s never too late to find new music that makes your ears and heart happy.

Which brings me to item number two: what have you been doing to occupy your time during this pandemic? Have you been seeking creative outlets? Arguing politics? Relentless social media posts? Cleaning? Cooking? Eating?? Finding new music, perhaps??

That last one has taken up residency on my to-do list as of late. I’ve been spending increasing amounts of time on Spotify, scrolling through my curated playlists that Spotify throws together, based on my listening habits. (good luck with THAT, Spotify!) I’m discovering new bands I’ve never heard of, older bands I’ve still never heard of, and music I somehow completely missed along the way. I’ve also downloaded the app “Readly”, and have been spending an ungodly amount of time reading music magazines, when I should be cleaning this house. Shhhhhh

The fact is, I’ve gotten supremely lazy with my listening. Instead of working to find something new, I stick with what I know. Books I’m currently reading and articles I’ve read this week tell me that at my age (which is far from old, but also kind of far from young), this is normal behavior. It takes work to find new music. It’s EASY to stick to things we know, and if you don’t want to spend a lot of time searching – what do you do? You find that old playlist that has gotten WAY too much of your tine lately, hit “play”, and move on…am I right? You know what you like!

Well, I do that too. I know what I like. I also know that for several years now, I’ve stopped listening. I play new DD albums when one comes out. Pop the CD into my car stereo, and leave it there for months. (Okay, years) Listen to it over, and over again. I get so sick of it (yes, I really do), that I eventually stop listening to all of their music, and switch to First Wave on SiriusXM. That’s all fine and good, except that on First Wave, I usually hear nothing new. I’m digging my own grave here. So, I decided enough was enough, and have forced myself out of the box. Or coffin.

After nearly 50 years of listening to everything from “Patty Cake” to “Don’t Start Now” (Dua Lipa), at the very least, I know what has pleased my ears in the past. That’s something to start from! Team that with being a musician myself, and I’ve got zero excuses. So now it’s just a matter of training myself to try so that it feels normal to me, rather than some strange, foreign exercise. I’m not quite there yet.

With that, I am wickedly tardy and must be on my way….this house isn’t going to clean itself!

-R

We (Will) Carry On

Do you miss live music? Small, intimate gatherings at a local pub, watching a local artist perform? Nights at a theatre in the city, walking down the carpeted aisle to your cushioned seats near the front as you wait anxiously for a band to take the stage and transport you for an evening of fun? How about festivals, where the gates open and you rush to the field, press yourself up against the cold, metal rails. The adrenaline coursing through your veins, sweat pouring down the middle of your back while you throw yourself into the show with abandon?

Turns out, we’re not the only ones. Dave Grohl wrote a startlingly honest and open piece for The Atlantic that circulated yesterday. He wrote of the same thrills that we all hold dear, and admitted that yes – THEY SEE US. With any luck, they see us at our most free, joyous, abandoned, without an ounce of shy self-consciousness to be found. (I’ve had to work on that last one, particularly while in front row)

This isn’t a huge surprise, of course. I’ve been close enough to the front to know that of course they can see. Sometimes, they can see startlingly far into the crowd. Amanda and I experienced that for ourselves on more than one occasion, most recently in San Francisco when Duran Duran played at the Masonic. We were stuck way, way back in the standing room crowd, making lemonade out of lemons, doing our damndest to enjoy the last set we’d hear for a while even though we were smooshed behind one of the tallest men I’ve ever run into, and next to semi-drunk and sloppy dancers on either side. Out of nowhere, Simon caught sight of Amanda in the crowd and grinned a grin that lit up the room. Sure, anyone can say that and there’s question whether it was meant for them or not, I guess…but I saw it, and it was. The point is, as I think we’ve all noticed and experienced over the times, it isn’t only about the music. The energy in the room, the knowledge that the encounter between artists and fans is happening in person, in real time, and that give and take between band and audience explodes like nuclear fusion. Concerts are a moment in time, like lighting in a bottle.

The sense of “we’re in this together” is never more powerful than at a concert. When this is over, and yes – I have to keep reminding myself and believing the words – we will come together again, and that moment will be incredible. After all, we’ll be able to say we went through hell and back, and came out stronger than ever before. We can do this. We have to. It is what I think about every day as I write my blog, and it is what I dream about before falling into slumber each night.

I miss the live show. I wasn’t planning to go see Duran Duran in Vegas last weekend – truthfully, I couldn’t afford the tickets this time, and having had the luxury of seeing them a few times in the same venue, I felt like I could miss the weekend of festivities and be okay. I didn’t have much of a choice, so I just resigned myself and went on with life.

Funny how things work out. I’ll be buying the ticket next time, even if it means not being in the front. It isn’t just about where you sit or stand, the venue, or even the town. I think it is about communing with people who love the band as much as I do, coming together, celebrating life, love, and yes, music. I’ll be there.

-R

We Walk the Mile

I have really been enjoying the extra content lately. The bass tutorials, the instagram chats, lengthy interviews, and of course Duran Duran radio, have all been fantastic. I want to make sure to yell that out to the world, and to thank all those involved. All of it has helped to keep me entertained, engaged, and interested, and I’m positive I’m not the only one feeling that way.

This pandemic has kind of forced all of us to see things differently, and I’m not just talking about the issues at hand. Specifically, I mean life. Friendship. Family. Learning. The list goes on and on. We have all had to find our way. Some of us are better about it than others, and that’s not really a surprise. I’ve chatted with family via text and email, Zoomed with a couple of friends, and spent more time with my three kids at home than I have in years. My husband and I have grown closer, and we’ve learned to rely on one another. I’ve cooked more at home meals over the past eight weeks than I have in YEARS. (I can’t say I’m loving that, but I’ve grown used to it, albeit begrudgingly. I even prepared food yesterday for Mother’s Day!)

We’ve slowed down a little. I think my family spends a little more time talking, a little less time rushing about. As a household, we’ve agreed to become even more self-reliant, pushing forward with our plans to become more of a homestead where we grow our own food and start our own cidery. (Think winery but with hard cider and mead. Mead is essentially wine made from honey.) We’re seeing how the world is changing and trying to adapt so that we can be happy, fulfilled, along with exercising some control over our own destiny.

I don’t think we’re all that different from Duran Duran, or anybody else really. None of us asked for this set of circumstances to be dropped like a lead weight in the middle of our lives. It is doubtful anyone really knows how long this is likely to go on. I’ve sat in on a lot of webinars lately, both those inside and outside of the entertainment industry. Concerts aren’t coming back as soon as we might hope, and even if they do – it’s hard to guess how they’ll look. It appears that the band recognizes that too. I mean, how could they not? They’ve decided to wait on releasing the album until 2021, which isn’t a surprise. I can be sad, but I don’t blame them. In the meantime, they’re doing what we’re all hopefully trying to do: exploring alternatives!

Simon discovered that he doesn’t mind doing a recorded radio show, or podcast. Katy seems to like that too, which I think is great! Nick took time to do a lengthy interview that I can’t imagine he’d have done normally. I mean, two and a half hours is a long time! John seemed to really enjoy his bass tutorial last week, along with the chat he had with Dave from Chromeo. (A band that I am going to check out this week. I know, I know…I’m slow, but I’m trying!!) While Duran Duran might not be a band that performs to an empty audience, or films a song during zoom calls, editing and then sharing it with fans, they are finding ways to engage and share parts of themselves in ways that many of us have wanted for years.

Personally, I love what they’re doing. I don’t need another Twitter Q&A, circa 2012 to remind me that there are 50,000 other fans out there, each vying for their two and a half seconds of attention with <insert band member name here>. What I do appreciate though, is getting past that nonsense, and hearing real discussions about music, their experience, or whatever they’re willing to share about themselves and Duran Duran. I feel far more connected to them now than I have in, well, a very long time, and I haven’t even left my house. Maybe it’s just me, and I can accept that some might disagree, but I think the content they’ve been creating has been golden. I look forward to whatever comes next.

As I said weeks ago, it is going to be the bands who figure out how to continue engaging their fan bases in some way that make it through this crisis, particularly if the lack of live shows continues into 2021. It is the people who find some way to make lemonade from lemons that will thrive in the future. Sure, my life looks different in 2020, as I’m sure yours does, dear reader, but it isn’t all bad. While I have my bad days and I worry about things from time to time, as does everyone, I also see that the only way through this is to keep evolving and finding the good. I’m going to keep working on that.

-R

Learn Bass From The Master!

The past 16 hours or so have been a bit of a blur. I’m suffering from vertigo as I type, which may or may not have been self-induced. I’m also struggling to get and keep food down at the moment, but more on all of that in a few months. (yes, I did mean months and no, I’m not having a baby. In fact, smack yourself for me if you actually thought that. ) Meanwhile, I have a blog to write!

Calling all bass players (brand new, experienced…or potential!) out there! Has it always been your dream to have John, yes that one, teach you bass? Well you are in luck!

Yesterday, DDHQ announced that John would be taking to Instagram today at 11am PDT to post the first in a series of bass tutorials. How cool is that?!? Following the tutorial at noon PDT, he’ll be doing a LIVE Q&A, and yes, this is all on Duran Duran’s Instagram page.

I’ve never so much as even held a bass guitar in my hand, but I’ll take the time to watch today, just out of pure curiosity. I can’t imagine I’ll be alone. I wonder if Instagram can be broken by the amount of viewers….let’s hope not!

Don’t forget about Fade to Grey on Saturday! Our very own DJ Velvet Rebel takes to his Twitch channel once again and spins our favorite tunes from the 80s. This time, he’s partnering with Punkmasters and is giving away a t-shirt during the US party (9pm EDT), so tune in! Maybe I’ll see you in the chat room!

Stay safe, have a great weekend!

-R

Want a Track Title?

I’ve been listening to Nick’s interview with Red Ronnie from yesterday. At over 2 and a half hours, it’s a long one. I didn’t get that far through it in one sitting, but I did get far enough to hear Nick shamelessly give out the title to one of the tracks they recorded for this next project: “Give It All Up”.

Just sets the mind in motion a bit, doesn’t it? Makes the new album that, according to Nick, they were about two weeks away from finishing before they stopped working, sound all that much more of a real thing. John flew home to Los Angeles, and the rest of the band is now sheltering-in-place at their respective homes in England. The album of course, sits…waiting ever so patiently. Along with the rest of us, am I right?

I have to say, he gave the title EASILY and without any sort of fanfare whatsoever. No bravado, no insistence that he really shouldn’t give out the details, or even that things could change. Nope. Ronnie asked him if he could give out even just one title from the new album, making sure to reiterate he didn’t want the name of the album itself, but a single track. Nick immediately said “Sure”, and came out with “Give it All Up” as though it was no big deal. Perhaps at this stage, it really wasn’t…which is fine. Except that to me and my Covid-19, very bored, anxiety-ridden ears, it was almost like Pavlov’s Bell.

I couldn’t decide if Ronnie was shocked it was that simple to get it out of him, or if he was thinking about what else he could ask (if anything). Meanwhile, I scrambled for paper, thinking that I’d better write it down, lest I forget.

Forget? Who am I kidding? The title is now burned into my long term memory. It’s right up there with “King of Nowhere”…the album title that ended up not really being an album title after all. (the rumored title for what we know as All You Need is Now) I wrote an entire blog about that damn title and look what happened…

…and here I am again. Writing another blog about a title that may or may not end up on an album. You’d think I’d learn.

Sure, there were other things I learned. The band was going to release a special white vinyl edition of their debut album for Record Store Day, they were working on a behind-the-scenes documentary of the Apollo gig at Kennedy Space Center last year, they had Italian dates on their schedule for later in the year, and now a lot of that will be rescheduled and moved out. But none of those things got me as excited as these four little words: Give. It. All. Up.

What is it about hearing an album title for a song I’ve never heard one note from yet? I suppose to some degree, it makes the album real. Instead of just being a “project”…which is kind of vague and indicates that sure, they’re tinkering around but nothing concrete is there yet, it’s an actual thing. Some thing that will actually come to fruition and be released, even. Not that I didn’t think they had anything before…but now at least something from it has a name.

Little things make all the difference.

-R

It’s As If I Don’t Recall

Is fandom dead?

Well, maybe not dead…but different from when I was a kid? Last night, as I was cooking dinner, I skipped around the channels on the television, looking for something to…well, completely distract me from the task at hand. (I still hate cooking) As I scrolled along, I saw that Breaking Dawn, Part 1 & 2 were on Freeform channel.

Now, while you chuckle at that disastrous movie series, for me, they bring back memories of trading Twilight books with my oldest, talking and giggling over Edward and Bella, Team Edward vs. Team Jacob, and going to see the movies on the first night of their release. These were the books my oldest grew up with (she wasn’t a huge Harry Potter fan), and she came upon them right around the same age I was when I found Duran Duran.

I can remember the first time Heather asked me if she could read Twilight. I was skeptical because the content seemed a bit mature for her, but agreed, as long as I read the books first. She didn’t love that she’d have to wait for me to read and absorb the content before I passed them on to her, but luckily for Heather – I was a super quick reader, finishing the first book in a matter of hours, not days. Sure, it was a little mature, but I was able to use the subject matter as a way to broach issues that I knew would be eventually on the horizon. Say what you will about the content, the writing, or even the implications of controlling relationships as described in the novels – for us, Twilight was a bonding experience that I will always appreciate.

For one, I understood what it meant to be a fan. Lifelong Duranie, right? I not only understood, but encouraged Heather to enjoy the ride. I jumped on the merchandise train, buying her posters, t-shirts, books, and anything else that seemed worthy. Her bedroom started to look a little like mine had in the 80s, sans the big, bold colors and Nick Rhodes eyeliner. For another, it was the last chance I really had to bond with Heather before the teen years began in earnest. Those moments mattered.

I remember going to see the first movie on opening night. We stood in line with a gaggle of other girls her age, parents in tow. The other moms peered at one another over the heads of the excited throng of pre-teens, commiserating and smiling ruefully as we listened to their chatter. Once we were seated in the crowded theater, a security guard actually came down to the front, and stood on the small stage in front of the screen, while he explained to the kids that they absolutely needed to stay in their seats, and there was to be no screaming.

Let me reiterate: the kids weren’t supposed to scream…in delight, mind you…at a screen. It wasn’t even as though the actual celebrities were in our theater. No, kids were screaming at a movie screen as though they were at a rock concert. I was thoroughly amused.

Sadly, it all ended as quickly as it began. By the time Breaking Dawn part 2 was out, Heather hardly seemed interested in going. I talked her into it purely because it was the final movie – the others had turned out so dismal that she said it was difficult be excited. I understood the disappointment, but told her we owed it to ourselves to see it through anyway. Not long after the movie, Heather took down her posters and grew out of her t-shirts. We didn’t talk too much about Twilight after that, until last night when I turned to her and suggested watching.

To my utter disappointment, Heather wasn’t interested. “Nahh….” she said, as she headed into the office with her boyfriend.

“What? Really??” I marveled out loud. “You don’t want to watch with me? Oh, come on…it’d be like old times!”

Heather laughed. “No thanks, Mom. Those movies were the worst!” She walked into the office, sliding the door shut behind her. I sighed heavily. Out of sympathy, my husband decided to sit with me and watch. Not quite the same, but better than being alone!

We watched both parts to Breaking Dawn on my own, enjoying each one despite marveling at how awful the acting and special effects were (Part 2 is still the best one out of all the Twilight movies, though). I also reflected back on how, for a very short time, I saw how much fun fandom could be for a young pre-teen. That period of parenting was a gift for me, softening me for some tougher times ahead.

Reflecting a bit more today, I can’t help but wonder if fandom is just different now altogether. None of my kids ever got into something with the same sort of gusto I did with Duran Duran, and definitely not music. Both of my girls have had their favorite book series, and Gavin was a huge Starcraft II fan (and player) for quite a while, but nothing like the lifelong, hardcore fandom I have in Duran Duran.

I think they missed out, actually!

-R