Last night, Duran Duran appeared on Fashion Rocks, which was broadcast on CBS stations here in the US, and if you were lucky – you were also able to catch the international live stream.
This was not the first time that the band had appeared on the show. They also appeared on the first two in 2003 and 2005, and this is actually the third time there has been a Fashion Rocks show, so I daresay that this point – the band OWNS the show. (I’m a loyal fan, no matter what!)
For me personally, I spent the afternoon anxious as certain not-exactly-band-members sent photos of everything from the apparent
“liquid lunch rider” (A rider is basically known as the requirements a particular band or performer has tacked onto a performance contract. For example, Duran Duran has a rider for when they go on tour or perform somewhere and it can include everything from the type of bottled water they prefer to specific types of candy they want stocked or what wine and food they want in their dressing rooms.) to a pre-show selfie…to a photo of a very shirtless (and hairy) Paul Stanley from KISS. I felt like I was there…or at least 2500 miles away watching it all from my computer screen.
As I said more than once over Twitter, I was getting more and more anxious for a show that I wasn’t even going to be in the audience to see. For me, this has been one of the longer Duran Duran “droughts” I’ve experienced in a while, and although I know many of you have been touting your patience and unconcern for the next tour for the past couple of years…I, on the other hand, feel like it’s been forever. If that makes me crazy or insane, I would just like to remind you that you’re reading a Duran Duran fan blog that *I* take time to write nearly every day. I think the “insane” part has been well-documented, don’t you?
Between Mr. Dom Brown, the rest of the band, and quite frankly – the rest of the country – because I am on the west coast, where we didn’t see the show until a good three hours AFTER everyone else, I was on pins and needles by 9pm. (Ok really it was more like 6:30 pm my time, but who is really paying that much attention?!?) It was fun seeing everyone tweet about how great the band looked and sounded. I couldn’t wait to see them for myself.
So, that brings me to last night’s show. Truth be told, I am not necessarily a fan of Usher, Enrique, Miranda Lambert, Pitbull or whomever else I had to endure to get to the Duran Duran portion of the evening. Thank goodness for Twitter, where I could let my thoughts flow like stream-of-consciousness poetry. (I apologize to my Twitter followers, if I have any left this morning.) The good news is, my previous proclamation, that Duran Duran OWNS Fashion Rocks, was proven true. They were all over that show last night. If they weren’t on stage, they were being announced as a “coming up soon” act. I saw more of All You Need is Now (the video) than I’d seen in months (well, aside from the 50,000 times I’ve tearfully watched my own copy, sobbing about my loneliness into my coffee in the morning as I prepare to compose the blog each day), and during the time I watched the show – there was even a cute little interview segment where they replayed clips I’d already seen from the Road to Fashion Rocks. All in all, I think the show should be renamed “Duran Duran and Fashion Rocks”, because they do. Well…Duran does. I’m still not into the whole fashion gig. (Sorry Nick, but you already confiscated my Duranie card from the last time I said that.)
However, there was one portion of the evening that garnered my interest, and that was of course the point just after the Road to Fashion Rocks clips ended. Nico and Vinz and Afrojack both did a little something with Duran songs for their part, and then the whole reason for this show existing appeared onstage to play a little medley of The Reflex, Girl Panic and my personal favorite, Hungry Like the Wolf.
Here is a video of that performance, which I like because it gives a completely different point of view from what we saw on television last night because the person was there at the event. It’s a great overview, and I’m not distracted by Simon’s beautiful ring, his shoes (which I adore)…or anyone else who happened to get camera time:
To recap: The show should be renamed Duran Duran and Fashion Rocks…or better yet, just Duran Duran Rocks…I’m envious of lunchtime riders and selfies outside of dressing rooms… I like Simon’s shoes a lot..they didn’t show enough of John on TV last night and too much of the female percussionist…and I’m anxious for new music and a tour. I think that about covers it. At least what I’m willing to say publicly, anyway.
So what did you think of the show…and is anyone else looking forward to the time when we’re talking pre-sales and we’re plotting our escapes from reality so that we can go play with the band?!?
Ok, so initially I had this titled as October’s Katy Kafé with Roger Taylor. Obviously I’m trying to make this year fly by even faster than it already is…probably because I want to be able to laugh even harder at Roger Taylor for his year end Kafe….but more on that later.
Truth be told, these are probably my most favorite blogs to write at the moment. I LOVE the Katy Kafé’s. I love the camaraderie that Katy seems to have with the band, the fact that she’s able to joke with them, and basically she asks the questions that are swirling around in my head as she’s interviewing whomever she has in the Kafé. Once again, however, I want to give the same disclaimer as always: this isn’t a word-for-word translation. I listen to the Kafé straight through, take copious notes, and then pick out the highlights to share. If you would like to hear the whole thing, I strongly recommend that you join DDM. Let’s be honest, people – tour time is coming. Even *I* rejoined, and that was something I swore I’d never do. So there’s my endorsement for spending $35.00. Do as you will.
Let’s get to the Kafé then. They open the conversation speaking about New York City. Roger loves New York, as does the entire band. He spoke of how the skyline and the city reminds him of a theater or movie set, because his entire life in England was spent watching videos set in NYC. I don’t think this is a surprise to anyone, as they spend a great deal of their time and promotion on the east coast.
Fashion Rocks: In case you haven’t been paying attention, Fashion Rocks is TONIGHT. If you’re in the states, you can watch it on your local CBS station (9-11pm EDT/PDT). I’m admittedly fuzzy on the information for international viewers, but I heard that you can see a live stream somewhere online. I checked and found a link for a backstage live stream, but I didn’t see anything for the actual show. If I get a link, I’ll post it. The show itself features Usher, KISS, Jennifer Lopez….and a few others I don’t really care about…and then the REAL stars of the show (to us), Duran Duran. Keep in mind, their set is only six minutes (as Simon mentioned in a previous Kafé)…but it will be the best damn six minutes of this entire day. Roger talked about how someone asked him how KISS could be playing a fashion show (something I’d considered myself) and he said that he could totally see it – they had a certain fashion, I suppose. I mean, if you look at the 80s hair bands, you can’t really miss the pleather leggings and over-the-top wardrobe pieces, so I guess Roger is right. Begrudgingly I’ll agree, and Katy was right when she said that they put on an amazing show (I’ve seen them live and lived to tell about it). Interestingly enough, Katy once worked for KISS, years ago…and her comment about the experience? “It was very….’different’ from say, working with Duran Duran.” Oh, I’ll bet it was. And then some. All I know is that I’m looking forward to seeing the band on TV tonight, and I’m really curious as to the surprise they’re doing for fans using the SHAZAM app. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Check out the info here. My iPhone is a dinosaur and I can’t download the app…so I’m counting on the rest of you to tell me what it’s all about!
Unstaged: Who is going to go see this tomorrow near them?!? *raises hand* I sure am!! I can’t wait! Roger says that he is very surprised that this film has had the “legs” it’s had for so long. I must agree. The film is three-and-a-half years old now, and prior to that MoMA screening I figured it had been tossed in a drawer somewhere, never to see the light of day again. But, if you thought you were done hearing about Unstaged after tomorrow (or Saturday), think again. Katy is spreading rumors (somehow, I really doubt it’s a “rumor”…) that people may be able to watch Unstaged on their TV’s at home very soon….but she cannot confirm just yet. Watch this space.
Nile Rodgers: Roger spoke about Nile, saying that he brought an energy and passion that he hadn’t ever seen before. Roger is convinced that Nile will make this record even better – “icing on the cake”, and will expand the quality of the album. Katy said that during all of the promo that Nile has done for Daft Punk and before and certainly beyond, that Nile never fails to mention just how proud he is of the work he has done for Duran Duran. Roger followed with saying that he thinks Nile is in a much different place now than he was with the Astronaut album. (for those who do not realize – Nile Rodgers did some production work for the band on Astronaut.) The recent success Nile has had gave him a lot of self-confidence.
Album News (You know you want it): They are going back next week into the studio to FINISH THE ALBUM. Mark and Mr. Hudson will help to finish. Roger says you get to a point where you have to just say “This is it”. (He didn’t say they were at that point, but I’m hoping….) He said that they’ve been working for nearly two years on it and that they’ll finish it “soon”. Then he raised his voice in case we didn’t hear and said “and it’s the TRUTH this time”. We’ll see Roger. We will see. Katy asked if they had a title yet, saying that she had heard one was swirling around but Roger said no, nothing is 100% yet. They have something in mind but it’s not definite.
Live performance and rehearsals before a tour: Katy then moved on to playing live. According to Roger, the band will tour to support live (I think I heard an audible sigh of relief from the community-at-large…or was that just me?), but they’re not to a point where they’re even thinking about it yet. They don’t record thinking about how something will sound or be replicated live, that comes later. Katy then read my mind and asked about rehearsal time before a tour. John Taylor has always been pretty forthcoming about the fact that this isn’t a band that likes to rehearse, but prior to a tour, according to Roger – they have to spend the time. This is probably due to the songs being new. It starts off very low key in a small room, and then they move up to a bigger room and then to a room that’s large – like the size of a venue. Roger says this is his least favorite part of the process because you’re performing like you would live but you’re getting absolutely not feedback from the audience. He was quick to add that the people at home might not realize it, but that the band very much feeds off of our energy at shows (Not to burst Roger’s bubble, but I think that it might even be interesting for him to know that we can tell that they feed off of us. The relationship is very mutual because the audience, at least among the most ardent fans in the audience, can very much tell when something is “off” with the band, and we feed off of THEM and their energy, too. It’s a symbiotic relationship!) As Roger aptly put it, rehearsing is like the chef doing all of the cooking in the kitchen before putting on the 3-course meal.
Mazda gig: Roger said it was good and that they enjoyed playing live again. He mentioned that it wasn’t a huge audience, and that he is always pleasantly surprised when everything comes back (meaning the music for all of them) so easily. He always thinks these gigs (where they’re playing older material together after a long time) are going to be a complete disaster, but that they turn out fine. He says that they are excited to play live again.
What’s next?: Katy prefaced this section by saying that the band would take a break in December for the holidays and then come back in the new year with a single. She then asked about a label – would the band go with one for this album? Roger said that it’s all still being negotiated but that they probably would go with one this time, that the last album was handled very differently and that went really well, but that this time they want the power from a corporation behind them. Katy asked about DJ dates for Roger – hoping for a scoop of some sort. Roger said that he hasn’t had his DJ “head” on in a while, but that once they get to mixing and finishing the album maybe then he’d think about it. Just as I was taking a big heavy sigh, figuring that this album must still be a very long way from being completed, much less released – Roger finishes the Kafé with a proclamation. Katy tells Roger that the next time he’ll be in the Kafé is for the year-end ones in December, and he says…of his own accord (clearly he did not learn from the last time he did this, poor guy…) that the record will be completely done by year end. “Mixed, done, and in the can!”
Oh dear. Well, I look forward to the near-relentless amount of “I told you so’s” that will happen in December, then. (Whether they are his or my own, actually!)
On todays date in 2011, Duran Duran played at the Trinity Center in Bristol , UK. This date was the third show to be played after Simon LeBon’s vocal chords healed enough to be able to perform after having to cancel 47 dates included in the All You Need is Now World tour in 2011-2012. This show, along with three other very small UK gigs, were dubbed “the rehearsal gigs”, as the band prepared to go back out on tour. Duranies were elated that Simon’s voice had returned, seemingly stronger than it had ever been prior.
I’ve found a video clip to share (thanks to Mimi!!) and you BET I’m gonna show Secret Oktober!!!
We are overjoyed to have a live “on the scene” special correspondent to share the in-person details of the Mazda Unveiling. Enjoy! -R
By Diane Blardony
What?! A contest for a private corporate gig that’s actually taking place in the Bay Area and not in New York? Talk about a once in a lifetime contest and event! I eagerly sent off my email to DDM and crossed my fingers and toes. The wait was going to kill me.
I found out I was one of only five lucky winners during my son’s first wrestling tournament. I was in the stands and happened to check my e-mail. I saw the heading, “Congratulations – WINNER – Monterey” and jumped up off of my seat and screamed. Thank goodness the gymnasium noise level was loud enough to cover my outburst of joy. My hands were shaking and my husband looked at me funny. He didn’t even know I had entered the contest. I mean, why should I tell him? What were my chances of actually winning anyway?
I suddenly realized I had a problem on my hands. I have way too many local Duranie friends. How could I choose one as my guest? It was a lose-lose situation. I hastily decided to take the non-confrontational route and I called up my non-Duranie friend, Melissa. She came of age during the 90’s so her “Duran Duran” equivalent was New Kids on the Block. Heck, she even named her first born after Jordan Knight. She was definitely familiar with “fandom”! I blew through the exciting events in 2.2 seconds and demanded that she be my guest. She happily agreed to go and the countdown began.
Talk about a top-secret event. Mazda successfully pulled it off with flying colors. The only information we were given in advance was the location of where we were to park (at the Bayonet Golf Course) and that we should be ready to board a shuttle at 4:30 for a 4:45 departure.
Melissa and I arrived at the golf course in plenty of time and met up with a few one of the other winners and her guest. Despite being early, we decided to check-in with Mazda in the hopes of boarding an earlier shuttle since we were going crazy trying to figure out this secret venue. After showing our ID’s, we were each given a “Zoom Zoom” wristband which we were told not to remove at any time. It was our pass in to the event upon arrival and it was also good for a maximum of three mixed drinks. We boarded the waiting shuttle and we were off!
During the approximately 12-minute ride we all pondered the event location. The Monterey Bay Aquarium? The beach? A private residence? We pulled up at Monterey Bay Air and Spaceport and we all giggled with excitement. Talk about swanky!
We were greeted on a carpeted walkway by security checking our wristbands and were told to have a good time! We walked past a Mazda Miata timeline spanning 25 years and were greeted with a Mazda wall perfect for a photo-op. There were also waiters walking around offering up appetizers such as stuffed mushrooms and other delicacies.
We turned the corner and were immediately impressed by the transformation of this airspace into a classy yet inviting atmosphere. There were three large, full bars interspersed among the space along with white plush couches with coffee tables and areas where you could also sit at a circular bar table with white leather bar stools. Canister lights hung from open metal pavilions and shiny, current model Mazda Miatas were on display at the two back corners. At all perpendicular sides of the venue were grand buffets. The first was a taco bar complete with three chicken, steak or jumbo shrimp to choose from. There was any kind of tortilla or taco shell you could want and fresh guacamole, real queso and three different varieties of salsa. The second buffet was filled with five different kinds of flatbread pizza complete with a pizza oven baking it all fresh on the spot. The third buffet served crab sliders, calamari and gelato. Honestly, I didn’t even get to the fourth buffet which I think served burgers.
There was also dozens of bars at the ready. My friend and I bellied up to the large square bar in the center and noticed dozens of pre-poured wine glasses filled with higher-end red and white wines with the vintages on display. There was also very refreshing-looking cocktails at the ready. We asked one of the several bartenders, each anxious to attend to your need, what that particular drink entailed. He explained it was a grapefruit-infused tequila cocktail but he was also happy to make any mixed cocktail we could dream up.
My friends and I immediately ordered a round of Cosmopolitans at which point he punched a hole in each of our wristbands. We decided to head to the bar tables closest to the hangar so that we could be ready to get in line at a moment’s notice. Unfortunately, there were at least three security guards in front of the hangar and there was a black curtain at the entrance so you couldn’t peek inside.
We all decided to take advantage of the buffet-style dinner and enjoy our drinks. The consensus was that everything we tried was delicious and who was ready for Round Two of cocktails?
The crowd ranged from auto press to auto dealers and Miata enthusiasts who were lucky enough to get a hold of one of these golden tickets. Attire ranged from khakis and dress shirts to nice dresses to trendy concert outfits. People obviously were here for the 2016 Miata unveiling, NOT to see Duran Duran.
Score for the Duranies!
At about 5:30 we noticed that some of the Mazda enthusiasts were lining up in front of the hangar so to the queue we went. Within minutes we were allowed in and we ran like kids around the back side of the raised platform that took up the entire back half of the hangar and we came upon a triangular stage about 5 feet, 2 inches high. I didn’t quite know where to go in the chaos as the right side of the stage was roped off with an rectangular platform so we headed to the left side of the stage. When I found myself standing in front of John’s microphone (not a bad thing!) I realized that the tip of the triangle was technically the center of the stage but I sort of liked where we were standing. I had plenty of room to dance!
At 6:00 sharp one of the Mazda head designers came out on stage and introduced the Miata. It came out of seemingly nowhere and on to the rectangular platform to my right. It was shiny red and quite sexy. He talked about the inspiration for the model and their connection to Duran Duran. They were both products of the 80’s and both reinvented themselves year after year and found major, continued success.
Of course, while the Mazda representative was speaking, I was keeping my eye on the left side of the stage where the band was waiting in the wings. I first caught a glimpse of Simon in a white shirt and black vest. Honestly, I didn’t even notice LeBeard was gone because I was trying to get the attention of my friends as to what I was seeing. Simon disappeared into the curtains and a moment later I noticed Nick donned in all black. He later stepped back and I could see he was going over the set list with someone.
The moment finally arrived. Duran Duran was introduced and out came the boys! Screams abounded, despite the amount of non-Duran enthusiasts. They opened with “A View to a Kill” and ended with” Rio.” There really were no surprises as far as the set list was concerned. I actually thought they were only going to play about 6-7 songs considering we were told by DDM that they were going to perform for approximately thirty minutes. So when they played nine songs total, I was beyond thrilled. They didn’t leave the stage for an encore but I was a bit surprised that they did a short band introduction during Girls on Film. For obvious reasons there was no, “Play the Fucking Bass, John” moment, but it wasn’t lost on me.
I was a tad disappointed that the boys didn’t attempt to shake any hands. Roger did give his drumsticks to a Duranie but other than that, they simply waved and quickly walked off the stage.
We all stood there for a while reveling in the moment and talking about how great the band sounded (minus the obviously last-minute backup vocalist substituting for Anna and her reliance on the iPad attached to her microphone so she could follow along with the lyrics.) My friend, Melissa, announced that she was now officially a Duranie, she finds Simon LeBon sexy and when does their tour start?
We eventually made our way outside of the hangar and embraced the cool, coastal air and plopped ourselves down on one of the many couches at our disposal. Mazda, again, thought of everything: they had carts of cold bottled water ready for the guests upon exiting. These Mazda folks are professionals!
We hung out for about half an hour and decided to head back to the waiting shuttle since we all had 2 – 2 1/2 hour drives ahead of us back home with early wake-up calls the next morning. The shuttle promptly took us back to the parking lot where Mazda representatives again greeted us with smiles, asked us how if we enjoyed ourselves and gave us a flyer marking the Miata’s 25th anniversary and a guitar pick attached to it with “Mazda” printed on it. Not a bad way to see the band after a prolonged absence!
Diane Blardony lives in the California Bay area. She’s a home hospital teacher and mother of an almost-13-year-old son. Her obsession with Duran Duran began in 183 when their videos began airing on MTV. Her first DD concert was in 1984 in Oakland, CA, during the filming of theSing Blue Silver concert documentary. She’s been hooked ever since. She’s traveled across the country to see them perform if her teacher’s salary allows and has made a handful of close friends thanks to DDM and the band.
I don’t even know where to begin! It was a crazy week!!! The biggest event was Duran Duran’s performance at the unveiling of the latest Madza Miata on Wednesday, September 3rd. This event and everything surrounding the event led to quite of bit of activity in the Duran universe. Frankly, I’m still reeling from all of it! I’ll do my best to summarize all that and more!
Did you miss Duran’s performance at the Madza private gig? Did you miss Rhonda’s blog post about it? Can’t find it on YouTube? Simply go here to see the video and read about Rhonda’s reaction to the whole deal! You could also check out duranduran.com for a few pictures! Now, many people expressed concern about Anna Ross since she was not at the performance in Monterey, California. Apparently, she had hurt her back and was unable to travel. We hope that she is feeling better!!
Of course, a lot more went on within the fan community due to that particular show. Let me break it down for you and in no particular order.
Since Duran Duran were hired by Madza to play at this private gig and had performed recently in Moscow for a pharmaceutical company, many opinions about playing for corporations were voiced among the fan base. Rhonda entered her opinion on this blog post. The debate raged on. My question is this. Is Fashion Rocks different? Is the Grand Prix Formula1 event different or are they all corporate gigs?
During the actual event, there was quite a bit of activity on both Twitter and Facebook as we hosted a viewing party. If you wanted to check out the action on Twitter, the hashtag used was #DDMadza whereas the action on Facebook could be found on the event page. While there was much frustration by the back-up singer, possible sound problems, Duran not having the best performance, only being able to see 3 songs and more, people seemed to enjoy reacting with other Duranies! I know that I did! We thank each and every person who participated!!!
Then, of course, there was quite a bit of discussion about a certain retweet by Duran Duran, which you can read about in this post. Some people were offended by it and others weren’t. I have already made my point with the post but here’s the thing. Wouldn’t it be nice if retweets didn’t offend ANY FAN even if it didn’t bother you?! Can’t we all agree to that?!
Of course, not all of the discussion after the fact had to do with the retweet, performance, corporate gig. Oh no, there was quite a bit of discussion on OUR twitter on Friday afternoon about a certain shot during the performance of a certain bass player and his anatomy. It seemed that my dear friend, Rhonda, forgot who was the John Taylor fan around here! (Oh no, I won’t forget that anytime soon, Rhonda!) If you are interested in THAT discussion, you should be following us on Twitter (@DailyDuranie).
Was there more? Honestly, I was on overload with just ALL that! Yet, of course, next week is going to be crazy as well with Fashion Rocks and the Unstaged screenings. Speaking of what is coming up, if you look on our home page, below our logo on the left hand side, we have all the upcoming Duran events listed and will update as needed. This way everyone has one place to look for what will be happening. (I also can better keep track!!!)
On this date in 1981, Duran Duran played at the Ancienne Belgique Steenstraat in Brussels, Belgium. This show marked the first show of the 1st European Tour. It was, literally, their first show outside of the UK. I would absolutely love to hear from anyone who was there. I wish that I could have found a set list from this show. While I imagine that most of it would have been from the 1st album, was anything from Rio played? Covers? B-sides?