Tag Archives: Duran Duran

REPOST: You’ve Built Your Refuge Turns You Captive All The Same

From time to time, we all need a break. I’m finding that today, I need one too. This is something that Amanda and I have discussed off and on over the years, never really coming to a firm decision about taking vacations or holidays. We take time when we need, and we handle it however makes sense, which is what I’m doing today.

I decided to look back five years from today’s date and post whatever blog is there. (one good reason for the archives, I say!) It turns out that on this date in 2013, Amanda wrote the blog. The topic is just as timely now as it was then. Not everything about fandom comes up smiles and rainbows, am I right?  Enjoy!!


You’ve Built Your Refuge Turns You Captive All The Same

Originally posted July 19, 2013

I have been a Duran Duran fan for a loooooooooooooong time.  A lot of us have.  I have been involved in a few other fandoms over the course of my life but none have stuck with me like Duran has.  There is probably a ton of reasons why that is but that isn’t the point of this particular blog post.  While I might have been with Duran over these other fandoms, there are Duranies who have ONLY been in the Duran fandom.  Then, there seems to be people who bounce from fandom to fandom to fandom.  Why do they do that?  Why have I been interested in other fandoms, at times, too?  While the simple, surface answer is that people can like many things and I can like other things besides Duran.  That’s true but…I think there is something about fandom itself that leads people to enjoy joining fandoms or leads people to leave fandoms once they become familiar, common place.

Do you remember what it was like when you first joined the Duran fandom?  Or any other fandom?  My memories from every fandom feel the same.  It feels good, happy, thrilling, exciting.  Everything and everyone feels positive.  I, for one, typically can’t get enough and can’t stop talking about whatever the object of that particular fandom is.  Everyone in the fandom literally feels like a family and I can’t ever imagine that there is ever bad blood or that people don’t get along.  I have such fond memories of when I joined the Duran fandom in 2004 (remember I was a fan before that but not part of the community).  I posted frequently on message boards and spent time reading them even more.  I spent a lot of money trying to fill in any gaps in the Duran catalog and organizing the pieces of memorabilia that I had while acquiring even more.  I wanted to know and have everything and everyone in the fandom seemed to support this. It was wonderful.  Just wonderful.  When I decided to go to the convention, part of the reason was that I wanted more.  I wanted to be around others who understood the overwhelming love I had for this band.  At the convention, it seemed like every single fan was awesome and each and every one of them could become my best friend because we all shared this very important thing.  I didn’t need to hide.  In fact, my fandom was cherished, was celebrated.  Everything and everyone seemed perfect from my fellow fans to the band.

After that, the album came out and the tour happened.  I went on tour for the first time in my life.  It continued to be perfect.  Part of the reason was that it provided a perfectly positive escape.  Who doesn’t need an escape once in a while?  I know that I did.  I had just finished my master’s degree and was tired of taking classes, writing papers, etc.  Work was still pretty significant and was literally working many hours more beyond that forty hour a week contract.  While I wasn’t unhappy, I still needed those mental and emotional breaks that fandom was providing, that the Duran fandom was providing.  Once I went on tour, my interest became like a real obsession.  The escape from reality was intense there.  I wasn’t thinking about students, curriculum, behavior plans, etc.  I wasn’t worried about presenting myself professionally with parents or administrators.  Instead, it was all about fun–going from one show to the next, partying, staying up late, laughing like there was no tomorrow.  I found my refuge, for sure.  I loved it and couldn’t imagine ever stopping.  Heck, still today, I can’t imagine ever really stopping.  I can’t imagine not going on tour ever again.  Thus, in the early days of my Duran fandom, it was perfectly fun.  Beyond fun.  Beyond anything I could have ever wanted or imagined.  In my observation, while the details and experiences I had in Duranland might be different from other activities in other fandoms, the feelings I had were the same, at least to some degree, in other fandoms and what I have seen with other friends and family and their fandoms.  This feeling of everything and everyone being wonderful and the feelings of escape seem to happen with all fandoms when people join them.

Yet, as time has gone on, I have learned that not everything in Duranland is rainbows, butterflies and unicorns.  It isn’t perfect.  The band isn’t perfect and neither are the fans.  I don’t always agree with everything the band and their management has done.  I have met many, many fans.  Some of them have become close friends of mine (ha!), some have become people I like and would like to get to know more, and some I’m not too crazy about and they aren’t too crazy about me, either.  The perfection did not last.  The hearts and flowers did not live forever.  I still have many, many great days as part of this fandom.  I can’t really imagine leaving.  Yet, I have to acknowledge that it doesn’t always have that same level of escape and fun that it was once did.  In fact, there are days that I wonder if I shouldn’t consider walking away.  Why?  Simple.  I have those thoughts on days when it feels like the Duran fandom is the exact opposite of an escape.  There are days that it can feel almost like a trap.  The negatives fly fast and furious.  Luckily, those days, those times don’t last forever.  I then can focus on the good times I have had, the good friends I have made.  This allows me to wipe away the negatives, the hostility from others.  My experience has taught me what it takes to remain in a fandom and why some people might go from fandom to fandom.  I suspect those people are trying to avoid the negatives.  They only want the fun and escape.  I can’t blame them.  Who can?  Part of me is jealous because I can’t ever go back to those innocent, carefree days of early fandom, at least not with Duran.  I know too much.  I have seen too much.  People have seen and heard too much of me.

Initial fandom might feel like a perfect escape and definitely can be for a while.  Yet, as time goes on and people settle in, imperfections that occur with every human being, with every human community becomes clear.  To remain in a fandom means accepting those imperfections, accepting that it can’t always be an escape.  At times, it can and will feel just like the rest of reality with positives and negatives, with people of all opinions and more.  In that sense, fandom and fan communities become just like any other community, filled with reality.

-A

 

Dreams of vacations and Lovebox 2009

Today is the kind of day where a blog is written for June 18th rather than July 18th. sigh  I am a genius – one who cannot read a calendar well, apparently.

It’s quiet in Duranland, which in my mind, isn’t a bad thing, really. It’s July. It’s vacation time for many. In fact, if this were any other year, I would be on vacation myself! Alas….my vacation will come later, after we move and I’m (hopefully) sitting on my new patio, overlooking stately oak trees.  I don’t have a lot to mention today, despite knowing that Duran Duran has performed many times on July 18th over the years. So, I decided to take another look at Lovebox, because on this date in 2009, they performed a full set at the festival.

Here’s a clip of A View to a Kill – I chose it because Mark Ronson appears with them, and because I love the “Fatal Kiss” arrangement.

And, because it is one of my favorite songs performed live, here is Sunrise. It is labeled on YouTube as Reach Out for the Sunrise, and was filmed by a then-9 year old (not my child, but someone else’s)…but that’s fine, right?

 

That should provide a few moments of escape on this fine Wednesday. In the meantime, I’m going to spend some time working on the house this afternoon, and thinking about where I wish I could be going on vacation this summer.  Cheers!

-R

Lovebox Festival, 2010 with Mark Ronson

Lately, I’ve been feeling a little nostalgic. During my spare time, I have been on YouTube, watching snippets of video from DD shows I went to, or videos I haven’t seen in a while, like “Nightboat”, “Careless Memories”, or even “Falling Down”.  Nearly every day I check our history spreadsheet to see if anything noteworthy pops up that I should share, but it is rare that I’ll sit down and watch videos, much less go in search of them. I guess for me, they might be a needed source of comfort. Or else, I’m just super bored with packing and cleaning. There might be a bit of that, too!

Today I noticed that on this date in history, back in 2010, Mark Ronson played the Lovebox Festival. I realize that might not be so special, but his guests definitely were!  Mark invited Simon and Nick on stage to perform “Record Collection” from Mark’s album with Business Int’l, and then John and Roger crashed the party to play “Planet Earth”.

I am one of those pesky Duran Duran fans that loves Mark Ronson, and I especially adore Record Collection. It is an album that I have to be in the right mood to play, but when I put it on, I’m never disappointed.  I was thrilled to see Simon and Nick performing it with him and yeah, it was another one of those times where I kicked myself for not being there in person.

Sorry for the video quality – I didn’t take it!  I recognized the video owner’s name, and she is a huge DD fan. I can understand her jubilance!  Check out Mark, who can be seen in the back sporting what I believe should be a very recognizable outfit to any Duran Duran fan who has spent any kind of time watching old music videos lately!

The next video, of course, is “Planet Earth”. You may have heard that one before.

Now, this video isn’t necessarily the greatest either, some of it taken from the audience with hands and arms in the way. I love that the camera scans the stage, and if you look closely, you may just see MNDR on stage – she too was involved as part of The Business Int’l for the Record Collection album.

I loved watching these again. It is difficult to believe this happened eight years ago today. I don’t know about anyone else but it only feels like a few years ago at most. Crazy, right?

-R

Why isn’t this date an international holiday?

Happy Monday, Duran fans! Welcome to a brand new week.  If I cannot be on tour, I cannot think of a better way to begin the week than with a huge Duran Duran holiday, celebrated by fans around the world. No, today isn’t Duran Duran Appreciation Day, it is the anniversary of the very first time the band in its classic, five-piece lineup of: Taylor, Taylor, Taylor, Le Bon, Rhodes played The Rum Runner on this date in 1980.

While it may be true that Amanda and I tend to celebrate many sorts of little anniversaries of things the band did, or we ourselves have experienced along the way, this is the big one. The big Glamfather of them all. The Big “R” in Rio. (Gosh darn it, that hyperbole would have worked SO WELL if only Rio had been out during that time period. Alas, it is Monday, and I’m going with it anyway!)

Thirty-eight years ago today, this band began to play….

(I could probably do this all day long.)

I love Duran Duran Appreciation Day, but I also love this anniversary. It would seem to me that if a band WERE to celebrate a specific date as an anniversary of its beginning that this one might serve well. I’d also go out on a limb to suggest that maybe, if a band were to say, celebrate ones 40th anniversary by playing a super special show (or set of shows) in a town known for being its birthplace, that maybe a July 16, 2020 show in Birmingham would be reasonable. I’m no tour organizer, and I’m certainly not a band manager, and no one need listen to me, but if I were in charge – this is the date I’d shoot for.

Amanda and I are not betting people by any means, but if you don’t think we’ve had recent conversations about a trip abroad during the summer of 2020, you’d be severely underestimating our level of crazy. We’ve written this blog for nearly eight years now. By the summer of 2020, it will be coming up on ten, and we don’t post once a quarter, we post something nearly every single day. We are either completely nuts, or remarkably driven. You decide.  In the meantime, I’m going to keep thinking about the possibilities for a summer trip to the UK. I wonder if my family will notice if I’m gone for a few weeks….

Who really knew that a show on July 16, 1980 would be the beginning of all this? Moreover, who would have ever thought that they’d continue going strong even 2018 and beyond? Isn’t that thought worth celebrating?

I don’t really know why this isn’t already a holiday for Duranies. Seems to me, we deserve more than one, don’t you think?

-R