Yesterday’s winner: Save a Prayer
In which video does Simon look better: Is There Something I Should Know or Union of the Snake?
Yesterday’s winner: Save a Prayer
In which video does Simon look better: Is There Something I Should Know or Union of the Snake?
I made a promise to myself to take a couple of concentrated hours every weekend to work on my fandom projects. Last weekend, I went to a coffee shop, made myself comfortable and got to work. I thought that being away from home helped me to stayed focused. Unfortunately, this weekend, the weather is not cooperating. It is April 14th. Spring should have sprung. Yet, here I am with a winter weather advisory that features freezing rain, ice, wind, and snow (reports vary from 2-5 inches to 6-9 depending on the temperature). Great. So, I’m not leaving my house. Despite that, I’m keeping to my plan.
I decided to focus on fandom research before blogging for two reasons. One, it is easy enough to put the blog first which often means the rest gets pushed aside. Two, and more importantly, I had no idea what to write about. I hoped that working on related projects might spark a topic. Indeed, it has!
I had been searching YouTube for just the right video to showcase both Duran Duran and their fans. Sounds easy, right? Not really. I still really haven’t found something perfect but I did run across this video here:
I am sure that most of you will recognize these video clips as they are clips from Sing Blue Silver. Most notably, they are generally clips in which fans, female fans, are screaming. While that might be interesting enough, the description of the video read, “Fascinating and terrifying. This is a video I edited of various girls going absolutely NUTS for Duran Duran. This footage was filmed between Nov 1983 and April 1984, during their massive world-wide tour. For context, this was all filmed before The Reflex single was even released in April 1984. The video for that song was filmed near the end of the tour in March 1984 at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens. I was barely a toddler at the time but I have clear-as-day memories of girls in my neighborhood having a similar, almost venomous passion for this band.”
Fascinating and terrifying? What exactly is terrifying about this? I’m not sure I’m following. Then, the creator describes the passion for the band as “venomous” passion. Venomous as in poisonous? Hm…None of the comments on the video seemed bothered by the description but I have to admit that it doesn’t sit well with me.
Are screaming female fans terrifying? Is there something scary about that group? If so, what? Do they have the capability of biting or stinging as the term venomous assumes? Now, I admit that I definitely could have been one of those screaming fans in 1984 as my best friend and I at the time did plenty of that so maybe I’m taking it personally. Yet, is there really something wrong with screaming for a band you like? What about when you are a kid? A teenager? An adult woman?
The fact that the screamers on the clips were mostly (almost all? All?) women and girls really makes me suspicious about the description. Is this somehow putting down women and girls or it is really just about putting down the level of excitement? Based on my research about fans and fandom, I’m well-aware that fans get a bad reputation of being hysterical and crazy but describing a group of fans who are mostly women as “hysterical”, “terrifying” and “venomous” seems like a step beyond that.
What do you all think?
Yesterday’s winner: Rio
In which video does Simon look better: Lonely in Your Nightmare or Save a Prayer?
On this date in 2005, Duran Duran played in New York City in Madison Square Garden. It was the last date in the band’s spring Astronaut Tour in North America.
I did not attend that concert. Did any of you? I remember thinking to myself that Madison Square Garden was a big deal. Do I believe that because it is a large, well-known venue or because of that story within Duran lore? I’m sure you all know that one. I’m referring to this idea that John Taylor has shared many times when he said that the plan of theirs was to play Hammersmith in 1982, Wembley in 1983 and Madison Square Garden in 1984. The band met those goals. I could not even think about attending the show in 1984 there. No way. If my age didn’t stop me, the distance would have. But what about the show in 2005? Was it as big of a deal as those 1984 shows there?
In thinking about that 2005 show, my thoughts immediately turn to the reunion. I have such strong memories of that time. To me, as a fan in 1980s, the reunion represented a real hope of a repeat of that time period. After all, the five original band members were back together! I knew what they were able to accomplish in the 1980s. Why couldn’t they do that now, I wondered. It felt to me as if the band was everywhere in terms of press. For instance, they appeared in my local paper. If I had taken a bet about how successful this reunion was going to be, I would have said that it was going to blow the roof off. All of the fans from the 80s would return and they would bring new fans in. They would return to the top of the charts and everyone would love them. Thus, when I saw this particular date on the tour schedule, it felt perfectly normal. Of course, they would play there. Don’t all the big artists perform at that venue? To me, it was a sign that they had returned to form, in all aspects.
Looking back now to that show, am I sad that I didn’t go? Maybe. Maybe not. I went to a bunch of shows in 2005. So I have no room to complain at all. Still, then, I went to shows that I could drive to and that’s it. While at that time I had traveled to go to a convention, the thought of traveling to shows was unheard of in my world. Even weirder than that was the notion of taking time off of work to do so. I never even allowed my brain to go there at all. Back then, my life centered around work and my students. It was one thing to think about taking a day to go to a convention but not to a show. After all, they would come here Chicago. I would be able to see them. Then, I was really lucky that they played a lot of shows near me over my spring break. After attending most of the Midwest shows, I never even considered this show in New York City. At the time, I recall feeling a tiny bit jealous of those fans who were going but I didn’t let myself feel more.
Now, though, knowing that there was not many shows there since then, do I regret not going? Sure, it would be cool to say that I have seen them play there but more than other shows? Hmm…I don’t think so. I wonder if I had seen them there, would I have felt like I had done it all. I saw the band play at this ever important venue, their peak goal in the beginning of their career, so that I could walk away knowing I had been to the top. Maybe. It is hard to say. Looking back, I’m also glad that I just jump in and do everything all at once. Perhaps, fandom would have burned out then. No, I think my fandom journey is good the way it is. I have no regrets.
Yesterday’s winner: My Own Way
In which does Simon look better: Hungry Like the Wolf or Rio?
I learned something new today. I didn’t realize it, but back on this date in 1989, Duran Duran recalled the CD version of “Do You Believe in Shame”.
The single was initially released in the UK as a 7″ triple pack in 1989. Each disc had a picture sleeve of a band member, but it was discovered shortly after the release that the single included on each disc in the pack had a longer playing time that disqualified it from appearing in many of the sales charts. Typically, radio edits and/or singles need to be somewhere between 3 and 4 minutes in length. At 4:23, DYBIS was significantly longer, and particularly in the UK, it was ruled out from many sales charts. So, the single was recalled and then reissued a few days later. Unfortunately, during that period, the single was unavailable in stores. I cannot imagine that helped sales, and only reached #30 in the UK, #72 in the US, and #14 in Italy (Ah, those ardent Italian fans!!)
If all of that weren’t enough, “Do You Believe in Shame” was successfully challenged in court over a close resemblance of the melody to that of Dale Hawkins’ classic song “Suzie Q”. The band maintains that they did not intentionally copy music, saying that it only sounds similar due to a basic blues progression. However, ASCAP writing credits were changed accordingly.
Does anyone out there (!!) have this 7″ triple pack?
Interesting little bit of Duran history, in my opinion!
Yesterday’s winner: Night Boat
In which video does Simon look better: Friends of Mine or My Own Way?
On this date in Duran history, the band played at the Bell Centre in Montreal in 2016. This was one date included along the way for their Paper Gods tour. I know of at least one person who was there that night, too! (A big hug and shout out to Heather!)
I don’t know about you, but right now, that date in 2016 feels like a decade ago. Amanda and I were in the depths of writing. I can remember that we’d constantly tell one another that the road trip we would take later that summer would be the payoff for all of the hard work we were doing at the time.
I also remember getting messages from our friend Heather that night while she was in Montreal. I think it is fair to say she had a great time at the show, not that she would have ever expected otherwise. Amanda and I haven’t gotten too many opportunities to hang out with Heather in person over the years, although we’ve squeezed in a road trip and a visit since we first met her in person at our Durandemonium convention in 2013. She lives in Canada and pretty far from Montreal, as I recall. Even so, having the band perform there was like leading a bee to honey! She drove the many miles between her house and Montreal, and I dare say she’d probably do it again if given the chance!
Whenever I think back on the Paper Gods tour, I get this wistful, far off feeling wash over me. It is the one tour that I look back on and feel like I did everything I wanted to do. Oh, except Hawaii. Yeah, I couldn’t manage that one….dammit there’s always something! That wistful feeling, though – the past six months have felt incredibly long. I know I just saw Duran Duran in December, but the real tour feels so long ago. So much has happened in such a short duration, and I know more is coming down the pipe in the few months ahead. The Paper Gods tour was something special. It was a time in my life I will continue to look back on with fondness, so I don’t mind these memories popping up from time to time. They remind me that life rarely stays the same for long.
Yesterday’s winner: Careless Memories
In which video does Simon look better: Girls on Film or Night Boat?
As Amanda wrote over the weekend, she is considering where to take this blog. I’d like to share where I’m at in all of this, for those who may be interested.
The band is on some sort of hiatus, at least when it comes to performing. I don’t know what, if anything, they’re working on. They certainly deserve time off, and I’m not questioning that. However, we write about them. We write about being fans. Without the band doing much, it makes blogging a creative challenge. In and of itself, that doesn’t bother me, but it is something I consider. I tend to split my posts evenly between dates in history and fan issues – but sometimes it can all get a bit thin. I mean, there’s only so much one can write about a performance somewhere or a radio interview. On the other hand, topics having to do with fandom are another ball of wax.
I have found, over the course of the past eight years or so, that people either love us or hate us – and many start out loving us until we write something they hate. Not surprising, but definitely has its annoying moments. Not enough to make me stop blogging, but more than enough to convince me to keep my circle of genuine friends incredibly tight. I’ve learned that writing about fandom can be a double-edged sword. In many ways, it is eye-opening, and feels cleansing (for me) to understand why things happen the way they do. On the other hand, I’m examining something that most everyone has a lot of time, money and emotion tied into. There are always a few fans that are instantly offended, likely because they see a bit of themselves in what we describe and they don’t like it.
I’m going to write the explanation again in case it wasn’t understood before. We are really not judgmental of fans, although yes, sometimes I ask and present tough questions. I’m not shy about it, and I’m not sorry. I have my own opinions on things, and yep, sometimes dear reader, you’re not going to agree with me. I can accept that. Once I write something, a reader is going to respond however they feel. I hit ‘publish’, and the words are no longer my own. I feel good about letting go.
That said, Amanda and I are still fans of Duran Duran. We still function in the community. Much to the dismay of a select few, we haven’t been burnt at the stake yet, and no – the band hasn’t asked us to stop going to shows. We’re not going anywhere. We not only acknowledge our fandom, we celebrate it every single day when we write, and I think this is where it gets sticky because what Amanda and I see as positive exploration, others find offensive. I guess when it comes down to it, Amanda and I are a bit unusual, if not flat-out weird.
We’re even sometimes embarrassed by our own behavior as fans. I’ve written about those moments MANY, MANY times…but somehow, those blogs are easy to ignore. For those who have already dismissed the blog as being a bunch of lies, or that Amanda and I are evil bitches with an ax to grind, I’d imagine that reading something where we admit to being silly or human doesn’t really fit the agenda.
As I told Amanda last week, sometimes I feel as though the blog has run its course. After eight years, it is a good challenge to find something new to write about. I spend a lot of time writing, when I could be researching or writing one of our own projects. While being a fan is absolutely a joy, writing about fandom is my passion. The blog here is just for fun – which I desperately need at times. That is why I want to continue Daily Duranie.
Keeping with that “fun” theme, I must be careful in the future about how topics are presented here, because fans are so emotionally vested, and naturally biased. Like I said, I think Amanda and I are just kind of weird. We enjoy being fans and doing all the “things”, but we also like examining WHY we do all of the things. We’re not afraid to call ourselves (fans, collectively) out in the process. While I don’t have an answer as to why I am able to compartmentalize (and sometimes I can’t – which is another issue for another day), I need to respect YOUR fan space. Point taken.