Tag Archives: Duran Duran

You Understand I Been Waiting Forever

I have never participated in a “meet and greet”. Over the weekend, Amanda posed the question of why meet and greets would be beneficial to the band – and she received answers, mostly ranging from how wonderful of an experience it was for the fan participants to suggestions that the band would miss out on hearing how much their music has affected others. I had difficulty answering the question myself, because I really don’t know what a meet and greet is really like as a fan, much less what it might do for the band.

What I can say as an interested bystander is this: the quality of the experience is entirely dependent upon the situation. I’ve heard of the dank, dark, super fast “hi and a quick photo” hallway meets…I’m not even sure we properly add the word “greet” in there. I’ve read of the times where only a couple of the band members could make to the meet and greet in the hallway, and truth be told: I have difficulty seeing how any of that could possibly be beneficial to anyone, least of all the band.

In all fairness to the band, when you are forced to come out of hiding night after night, put on a smile in the most unnatural of situations, say hello and then (on many occasions) be felt-up by overenthusiastic fans that have forgotten their manners while having their 30 seconds in front of the band they’ve loved since their teen years – I can’t say that would be beneficial. In my opinion, it’d have the opposite effect. I’d want barriers put up around fans, and while I’d love for them to buy my album and come to my show – I’d also like them to be kept a good 25 feet from me at all times.

On the other hand, when you finally win that chance at a meet and greet, and you sit at home thinking about all of the things you want to say after all of these years – when the time finally comes for you to be in front of any one of them, much less all five of them, and you’re led down a dimly like back hallway and told, “We don’t have time for anything but a photo and it has to be a group one, please don’t try to talk to the band – they don’t have time”, that’s hardly worth the effort to buy the damn tickets to begin with, and those same fans have absolutely no trouble going online and sharing that delightful episode with everyone who’ll read/listen/reply. I can’t really blame them, either.

I have had real trouble underlining benefits to the band myself – because when I consider what the meet and greets have consisted of in the past, I see almost no benefit. From the lack of response we received (truly – for all of the people who have ever done an M&G, very VERY few were able or willing to say much about it), I suspect similar feelings hold true for others. However, if I were to pose the same question to those who attended the VIP party prior to the MoMA screening – I would bet that more than a few could give solid reasons why those types of events work – and not just work for fans, but for the band as well.

Perhaps that alone is food for thought.

-R

Media Representations of Fandom: Love Wrecked

During my winter break, I had some extra time on my hands.  One night while flipping through channels I came across a movie, obviously aimed at teens, called Love Wrecked.  Now, normally, this wouldn’t have caught my attention except for the fact that the description included how a teen got stranded on an island with her teen idol.  Oh boy.  Then, I had to watch it.  After all, even movies like this can represent fandom.  How will it show this teen fan?  How will it show the rock star?  How would it show the interaction between the teen and the star?  Will they be accurate representations or would they be stereotypes?

The movie started as you would expect by showing this teen and how she is a fan.  How did they show this?  Simple.  They showed notebooks with “I love you” written on them along with some kisses.  Other pieces of merchandise shown included a fan club card, cd covers, concert tickets, posters, pillow cases, etc.  I think anyone who is a fan could relate to this.  Soon enough, those concert tickets are put to use and we see the teen at the show.  She, of course, is screaming, jumping up and down, screaming about how hot the star is, yelling “I love you” and singing along.  While that might not be exactly how I am at a a show, I know that it is how plenty of other people are, especially when they were teens.  What is amusing is that she is at the show with her friend, who happens to be a guy.  His reaction to the whole thing is to ask if she is okay and begging for her to calm down before she injuries herself.  How many people who had parents who asked those same questions as a teen at a show or has a significant other who says similar things now?  Another interesting scene at the show is when someone the teen knows approaches her to point out that she has better seats.  In fact, she states that her seats are SO good that the star, Jason, could sweat on her.  How does the teen, Jenny, respond to this?  She crowd surfs to get closer.  The other teen, Alexis, also joins her crowd surfing solely so that she can push Jenny back.  She doesn’t want to give up her better spot.

Jenny and her guy friend go to the Caribbean to do some summer work program.  Alexis is also there because she had heard that Jason, the rock star, loves this resort.  In fact, he soon shows up in all his stereotypical glory with his large entourage and staff, demanding the best suite in the place.  Jenny tries to approach Jason, the star, but falls in front of him.  Jason makes sure that she is okay and even flirts a little, as rock stars do.  This causes Jenny to conclude that he could fall for her if they could really meet.

Thus, she works where he is, including on a small boat ride.  The ride does not go as planned as there is a storm and the two of them fall overboard with the ship’s raft that takes them to what appears to be an empty island.  Jenny isn’t too concerned.  Instead, she keeps trying to ask him questions.  Meanwhile, the media is freaking out because the star is missing.  Soon enough, though, she figures out that the resort is just on the other side of the island.  She doesn’t tell Jason, though.  She wants them to believe that they are stranded so that he can get to know her and fall in love with her.

Jenny walks back to the resort to get the supplies as Jason had hurt his ankle so he couldn’t walk far and she runs into her guy friend.  She tells him her plan and her friend responds by asking why she couldn’t have just broken into his hotel room like a normal person.  Unfortunately, during this exchange, Alexis saw and followed her back.  She acts as if she, too, is stranded.  Now, Jason, the star, has two fans after him.  The two fans do what we expect them to do.  They compete over his attention and also do things to harm the other.  Eventually, the truth that they were on the island with the resort comes out.  Jason has to decide who he likes out of the two fans while Jenny gets lost during a hurricane and gets rescued by her guy friend.  She then decides this real life guy is better than the star.

Now, ignoring the quality of the film, which was as you would expect, how was it in terms of stereotypes about fans?  I, obviously, expected it to show over the top behavior, which it did.  I don’t think that most fans would pretend to be stranded on an island for days in order to get the star.  I don’t think that most fans would crowd surf just to get better seats or to stop someone from getting better seats.  That said, the competition between fans is something that does happen between fans.  I have seen people brag about their better seats, consciously or unconsciously.  I have also seen and heard of fans who will try anything to get attention of the celebrity of choice.  Jenny’s guy friend’s reaction about not understanding her reaction and fandom is also something that happens on a regular basis.  Likewise, the lesson appears to be that real life is better than the fantasy of fandom, which always makes me uncomfortable because there is nothing wrong with being a fan.  Thus, while the movie was filled with stereotypes and some uncomfortable conclusions, some of these stereotypes and elements are based on true elements of fandom.  Ugh.

-A

The Lasting First Impression

In the last few weeks, I have been analyzing why fans want to go to conventions.  I have talked about everything from the escape from reality that they provide to providing the chance to meet and connect with other fans.  Last week, I focused on how having celebrities attending can also increase people’s interest and attendance at conventions.  After all, we all know why fans would want to meet their idols or celebrities that they like and admire.  It is no secret that most fans covet pictures with their idols and autographs of them.  Also, I think we all know what having positive experiences mean for fans and for their fandom.  In my experience, meeting someone you look up to and having a positive interaction is super special.  Since fandom is about something and/or someone you are passionate about, that passion can be reinforced and increased if meeting an idol or idols is positive.  It is a high like no other resulting often in *squeeing* internally and/or externally, smiling for days and non-stop talking about it!  Thus, we all know why fans want to meet to celebrities and how it makes them (us) feel!  Yet, how does it benefit celebrities to meet fans?  After all, many of us don’t get to meet Duran Duran and we still remain fans.  I know that I won’t get a chance to meet all of the celebrities I admire and that won’t cause me to stop admiring them.  So, really, why should celebrities show up at conventions or do meet and greets?  They won’t lose fans if they don’t, so why should they bother?

I have been thinking about this question a lot lately.  What benefits do meeting fans give bands and other celebrities?  I already know a number of you are thinking things like, “They should want to meet their fans.  Fans are who put them where they are today.  They should do it to show their appreciation.”  While that may be true, that is still answering the question from a FAN’S point of view.  I am asking the question from a BAND’S point of view.  How does it really benefit THEM to meet fans?  How?  I guess one reason is because it could feel good to show that appreciation.  Sure.  I could see that.  Yes, I’m sure it is also a huge ego stroke after meeting people who think you are wonderful.  Obviously, events like conventions, pay celebrities to be there.  Yet, I can’t imagine that the money is THAT good that it would be worth having to sign autographs all day or smile in pictures with people who are strangers without there being more to it.

I ask again.  How does meeting fans benefit celebrities?  Here is what I came up with but still feel like I’m missing some big, important ideas that I’m hoping others can help fill in.

*Feels good to give back to fans

*Ego stroke

*Payment if it an appearance at an event

*Possibility for good press with the media

*Solidified fanbase who are more dedicated as evidenced by them buying more products, spreading good word to other fans and to non-fans which can even increase fan base.

*Increased loyalty with fans.  Fans who have had a good experience with someone are more likely, I believe, to be forgiving if the celebrity does something “wrong” or something that fans don’t like.  They are not as quick to leave the fandom.

What else am I missing?  It seems to me that the real focus is solidifying the fan base that is already there for a celebrity.  While I believe it has the potential to increase fans, it doesn’t do that in a super big way.  Does it really just benefit those stars who have seen better days and are just hoping to stay where they are?  Does it benefit the up and coming stars who need those positive stories out in the media?  Does it benefit celebrities much at all?  If so, how??  What do you think????

-A

If I Rewind Back to Yesterday

I love writing this blog for many reasons.  I love talking about Duran and about fandom.  I love questioning and organizing ideas.  I love it so much that I often find myself writing the blog in my head while I drive, in the shower, as I fall asleep at night, and more.  I often know what I’m going to blog about days in advance unless there is something new that comes up that demands my attention.  I know what I will write about tomorrow and on Sunday.  I already have ideas.  Yes, I’m crazy or sick or a combination of both.  I thought I knew what I was going to write today a few days ago.  It was a solid idea with a clear point.  Now, it is a little foggy but that is the beauty of writing.  It forces me to organize my thinking enough to put my ideas into words that others may understand.

The other day Rhonda wrote a blog that could be summarized by saying that when it comes down to it, this blog, fandom is all about friendship.  I couldn’t agree more.  My friendships are extremely important to me.  I don’t have many close friends and I’m not the easiest person to know or to understand.  Many times, my actions come across one way when, in reality, they are based in fear of rejection.  This misunderstanding is always possible with friends but is only increased when friendship is combined with work.  Work has generally been the area, the arena, the only place that I have experienced success.  I always did well in school from elementary through graduate school.  My first ten years of teaching were filled with recommendations from parents and administrators.  It the facet of my life that I have felt most confident about.  At times, in my life, I have allowed people close to me to enter a “working situation” with me.  In college, I started a political advocacy organization with my best friend at the time.  It was really my baby and I dragged him along for the ride.  I felt like it brought us closer and gave us a significant shared experience, one that we only could know and understand.  Then, recently, as an adult, I recruited my parents into campaigning with me.  Again, I was the “leader” of the team and they followed.  It made the experience of campaigning all the more special to me, especially on election nights in November 2008 and 2012, when my parents hugged me as they have never before, knowing that we accomplished something huge by helping elect a President, an historically significant one at that.  It brought us closer.

Now, of course, I have also developed strong friendships from working with people as well.  A number of my friends here are fellow co-workers.  Many of those friendships became closer when we fought to keep our rights to have a teachers union.  One of my closest friends here is someone who had the same position I did in the Obama campaign.  We really feel like we battled and then celebrated by going to the Inauguration together.  My parents became good friends with another couple who campaigned with us, too.  There is something that can happen when you work and work hard towards a very challenging task.  Celebrations are never better with victories and support is never stronger when there are losses.  Of course, when those bonds aren’t formed, those working relationships  can be tough and can make the struggle much more challenging.  I have had plenty of that experience, too.  I know that negative or even neutral working relationships can taint both the work and the outcome.

Unlike those negative or neutral working situations, Rhonda and I were friends before we decided to work together.  I don’t think I really thought much about how our friendship would be when I mentioned that we should write a book together.  I doubt that she thought much when she suggested this blog.  We weren’t concerned about our friendship with the convention.  We have been able to work together rather seamlessly.  While I’m sure that there are moments for both of us when we might question the other, we always listen and consider the other person’s ideas and suggestions.  It has been pointed out to us that this smooth process is obvious to anyone who watches us together.  We balance each other out and provide strengths where the other person lacks.  Honestly, in hindsight, sometimes, I’m in awe that we do work so well together because it is such a rare thing, in my opinion, and because we really had no clue how well we would work together when we started.

In thinking about this, I started to think about the friendship between John and Nick.  We all know that they were friends as kids but they weren’t that close.  John had other friends for sure.  Yet, when the band really got going, they seemed to share a vision about where the band was headed, what their goals were, how to pursue their dream, etc.  Now, they have been friends for decades as well as being colleagues and business partners.  We also know that their friendship hasn’t always been smooth.  John wanted to do Power Station and Nick went to Arcadia.  John left and their relationship suffered, according to John’s autobiography.  In fact, I believe, in that book, John mentions that he is closer to Simon now and it definitely seemed like he was closer to Andy at one point.  I started to wonder if this pattern of ups and downs, close and less close was simply unavoidable for any friendship that took that risk of combining work with friendship.  If so, is this the route I should continue on with Rhonda?  Is this what our friendship is going to be like if we continue to work together?

I have thought a lot about this in the last few weeks and months.  Even though I didn’t think too much about what might happen if we worked together when we started on this path, I still believe exactly what I said here.  We work well together.  I know it.  She knows it.  Other people have agreed with that.  I also know that accomplishing something amazing can bring people closer or can bond people in a way that only a victory through struggle can.  Yet, I also know that like Nick and John, we might not be in the same place, at the same time, work wise, emotionally wise.  Logically, I get that.  Of course, I do.  Emotionally, my fear of rejection clouds my judgement and demands proof that this isn’t about me and about not wanting to work with me if she chooses a different path, which is silly and something I struggle with, especially at this time, in my life, when I’m need to move forward to do something different, very different, career wise.  I’m feeling a little more fragile than normal, I guess.

I’m not sure where we are going to go from here.  Rhonda has mentioned that she isn’t sure what 2014 will bring.  I don’t know either.  I know that we can’t go back and, frankly, I wouldn’t want to.  I like what we have accomplished together.  I can’t change my past and how experiences have shaped me.  I know that we started down a path and have had an experience that no one else on the planet can really get.  Where will that path take us now?  I don’t know.  It is possible that we will go down separate paths like Nick and John did even within the big path of music, meaning that we will continue to be in the realm of fandom but through different means.  It is possible that I have to start some things on my own or venture into a different space entirely.  Of course, there is a chance that keep going together.  What I do know that my friendships are so important to me.  I also know that “work” is a big deal to me.  It seems to me that I have to find a way to be okay with whatever happens from here and hope that everything is alright in the end for me, for her and for us.

-A

Union of the Snake – The Daily Duranie Review (A)

If you read the blog last week, last Thursday, in fact, you would have learned of our new review process.  For now, each Thursday will be a review.  First, Rhonda will tackle the song; then, the following week, I will take my turn with the same song.  Last week, Rhonda started with Union of the Snake.  This week, it is my turn.  Will we agree or do we hear this song very differently?  If you want to review hers, go here.  Also, we decided to incorporate the production part of our review to the overall section.

Musicality/Instrumentation:  This is one of those Duran songs with the very distinct beginning.  As soon as we hear the opening notes, Duranies can all recognize the song.  I’m not sure if they intended it that way but it is that way now.  I know it certainly works to be instantaneously recognizable live as some of their bigger hits are that way (Rio and Girls on Film, in particular).  The beginning of the song really feels like the focus is on Nick and Andy.  I always enjoy those moments of musical conflict or musical back-and-forth between the two of them.  John’s bass is felt, at times, but isn’t a standout.  Neither is Roger, really.  Of course, as the songs moves closer to the chorus and through the chorus, Nick’s seems more dominant.  Even there, though, as with most songs of this album, there are always extra sounds, extra elements added.  It is multi-layered.  Likewise, the bridge of the song also holds some interest as there are definite extra percussion instruments included and very noticeable sax.  Truly, this is one thing that I have always admired about Duran.  They never shy away from using instruments outside of their standard guitars, drums, bass and keyboards.

Vocals:  Like a lot of this album, once the vocals begin, they certainly take center stage, seemingly mixed a bit louder than the already loud sounding instrumentation.  The vocals are a solid performance of Simon’s with some particularly interesting moments in which certain words are emphasized with the use of back-ups singers.  These words are obvious including “singers”, “radio”, “borderline”, and “climb”.  What could have been a cool way to add drama simply becomes over the top and too much.  I think it would have been fine if that had been done for a word or two but they used the back-up singers a lot here.  Too much.

Lyrics:  Ah, this song is one of those songs off Seven and the Ragged Tiger with very cryptic lyrics.  There have been many attempts to decipher what this song means or is about.  Is it about sin?  Is it something sexual?  Is it about losing it and having a nervous breakdown?  Is about the pressure of fame?  I have no idea.  I just know that I never connected to them.  I have had moments that the song seems to fit a situation, but those moments are short-lasting.  What do I think of the lyrics?  On one hand, I like that the lyrics aren’t clear and obvious.  I want lyrics that I either need to figure out or that I can create an interpretation that works for me.  On the other hand, I, sometimes, think that Simon tried TOO much to be clever.  He wanted to demonstrate that poetry.  In previous albums, he showed that creative side without it being or feeling forced.  In this song, it feels a bit forced to me.

Overall:  The song has a lot of potential.  I like the play between the keyboards and guitar during the verses.  The use of the saxophone and extra percussion sounds were a nice touch that showed that Duran wasn’t afraid to use other instruments beyond what the members traditionally brought to the table.  The lyrics could be interesting and the vocals could have been great without the overpowering backing vocals.  Likewise, the production seemed to really push the vocals over every other element of the song.  This enhances the two parts of the song that seem weaker to me (vocals and lyrics).  Also, when thinking about this song as a whole, I can’t help but to think about the more recent live performances of this song that I saw.  It seemed lifeless.  I’m not sure why that is.  The band didn’t seem all that into it and neither did the crowd, for some reason.  Perhaps, if the song was given a very long rest, there might be more appreciation for it.

Cocktail Rating:  3 cocktails!

Loud is the music, the crowd is ringing

So, those that are on Twitter…or even Facebook to some extent, know that John, Simon and Dom made good on their agreement to play a gig for an AmFAR charity auction winner yesterday evening. Dom tweeted a picture from Courcheval, France this morning, taken from his hotel room. It had a beautiful view of snow-covered mountains behind the hotel.  He said something about wishing he could ski. I shudder to think. As I tweeted back in response, Rhonda does not ski. No, no. The idea of careening down the side of a mountain with essentially no brakes aside from the techniques you learn on a pair of skis…well…there’s a reason that my family calls me ‘grace’.  Need I say more?

As for the gig itself, I saw one photo that I really can’t post here because I don’t know the owner…but John, Simon & Dom were all wearing black tie & tuxes, and to this starved Duranie, they were a sight to behold. It has been a very long 17 months since I last saw the band live, to be sure. It’s never good when you’re contemplating in your head just how much money it would take to pay the band to come play a private party, and just how many of my Duranie friends would be willing to help me pay for such a deal. Can we set up crowdfunding for that??  Ha!

In the meantime…for those of you lucky enough to live in England and are close enough to London, you can go see Dom Brown’s band, Blue to Brown, perform on January 17th at The Armoury…it’s FREE, and apparently since Duran Duran won’t be touring for quite some time, Dom’s band has a standing once-a-month gig happening at this pub. Come on now, you can’t really beat that unless of course it was in my backyard here in Sunny California! If you can’t go for yourself, go for me, take video and post it!  Either that, or I need to set up some sort of Crowdfunding deal so that I can fly over to England and see a gig for myself.  It’s research for the blog, right?!?  Probably not, but one can dream.

I keep waiting for a photo to show up of the AmFar gig they played yesterday that I can post…if you’ve got one, send it our way and I’ll put it up here!

-R

I don’t know where I’ve come from, where I’m going to…

There are moments during the course of a day where I’m so consumed by the mechanics of getting through the day – going through the motions, if you will – that I forget why we started the blog, or for that matter, why I insist on continuing (even through what I feel has become the “Sahara Desert” of waits from one album to the next). In the past couple of weeks though, I’ve had two completely separate things happen to remind me exactly why Daily Duranie exists.

I don’t believe it’s any secret that Amanda and I are good friends. To be honest, I don’t think the blog could be what it is if it weren’t for that friendship. We usually work well together. That said, there have been moments when we haven’t seen eye to eye, and those are times, however few they might be, that really end up strengthening our friendship. Last week, we had one of those times, but in this case – I think it was probably a really big moment. A turning point, actually. It’s important to remember that Amanda and I are but two people (no, we really are not the same person – there are truly two of us who write blogs!), and we live a couple thousand miles apart, no less. Amanda has certain goals for herself, ideas for her career going forward, and I have some of my own. Without getting into a ton of detail, the time came for us to really talk about our plans going forward, and discuss what each of us wish to accomplish. During this series of emails, it was very clear that each of us had a very different idea of how it all would work, and what role each of us would be willing and able to play. In this case, it was really me letting Amanda down, which I realized was going to be a big problem, and for a bit, I was very concerned that our friendship was in jeopardy. Luckily for me, Amanda was willing to pick up the phone and make the phone call that I was not – and we talked it out. While our positions and goals did not change, we were able to come to some sort of agreement on how we could move forward.

Yesterday, I spent much of my day getting my son back into the old grind. We had a parent/student/teacher meeting in the morning that ran long, and after we had errands to run before getting my youngest from school. By the time I was able to sit down to take a look at Twitter, it was already evening here on the west coast. I saw that a friend had tweeted something that caused me concern. Not thinking twice, I immediately messaged this friend, offering my love and support – because when it comes down to it, that’s all that really matters in this world. The funny thing, is over the past few weeks, there had been more than a few things that had been tweeted, dissected, discussed and retweeted back and forth between the two of us and a small group of our friends, and we never quite saw eye to eye. Even so, when I sensed her distress in her tweets, the very last thing I considered were the discussions where we didn’t agree – all I could think of was making sure she knew that I was there when and if she needed.

Every single time I’m asked about this blog and why we do it, I wish that I could properly describe THESE moments in words, because when it comes down to it – I don’t write this blog because I love Duran Duran. That might have been what started this journey, but the reason I keep going is because of the friendships I’ve made along the way. I feel far more accountable to Amanda, my friends, and the people who read this blog every day than I do Duran Duran, yet I can assure you that we still support the band. Maybe that is what makes this blog different and gives it personality, and maybe it’s also the reason I continue to cross the Sahara desert in search of another oasis!

-R

Since you ate my royalties…

Seen any good yogurt commercials on TV lately?

Is anybody hungry?

(I can’t believe I just did that…wow.  Where will the year go from here?)

Of course I’m mentioning the Yoplait ad that features none other than Hungry Like the Wolf as background music. This is no teensy snippet of music, it’s literally the focus of the ad. If you miss it, well…I’m no doctor but a hearing check might be in order.

In addition to seeing the ad on TV a couple of times, I’ve seen all sorts of discussion on the topic, ranging from “Hey, I LOVE the new Yoplait ad!”, to “Oh Duran Duran – how could you?!?” Both responses to be expected, of course.

What strikes me, as “Rhonda, the average Duran Duran fan”, is the sheer amount of people who believe that the music is the solely band’s, to do with as they wish. As I shared with a few people on Twitter this weekend, my Music Rights and Law class was about 20 years back, but I do have basic memories that may or may not be completely applicable in this situation, but I can share what I remember. When a band signs with a label and records music for that label, the label typically owns that recorded version that is released on their label.  Granted, there can be all sorts of caveats and exceptions here – but that’s the basic deal. Maybe they throw it all on a compilation album 10 years past the fact, maybe they decide to remaster and re-release the music twenty or thirty years later. Maybe they decide to license the music to a yogurt ad…the point is, the label owns the recordings, at least in large part. Did you notice that I used the word “recordings” rather than “music”? That’s because performances, such as live performances are completely different.

Someone asked if the band receives royalties on this sort of thing. I believe it would be fair to say that:  A. I have no idea so anything I say would be complete speculation. and B. It is indeed possible, depending upon the contract they have with the label in question. If you remember correctly – several months or even a year back now John Taylor was chatting with Katy and had mentioned that they would really like to get their entire catalog onto one label.  There are very good reasons for doing that moving ahead, and one reason is so that they’re able to address all of this and have the same deal for their entire catalog of music.  Make sense?

Is anybody hungry now?

(TWICE.  Twice in the same blog post and we’re not even through the first week of the year yet…)

-R

Only Change Will Bring You Out of the Darkness

It seems to be a pretty quiet day. That might have something to do with the snowstorm hitting a significant percentage of the US, or the impending cold (frozen tundra??), but for me it’s just the last Friday morning of winter break, before we head into the January doldrums of school, first semester finals for my two oldest, my daughter’s 17th birthday (HOW did that happen?!?), and so on.

I was on Twitter this morning, and thanks to @askkatybook – I have something to share with my fellow music fans. You see, she found an article about this 12-year old boy who does music reviews on YouTube. He’s not a fan of any specific band, or any specific genre of music – he is simply a fan of music. Here’s the article link.

I love Joshua’s exuberance and the sheer joy he shares for music. I wish I could capture just a little bit of that and put it into the reviews that I do for Daily Duranie, to be honest. There is something incredibly special to be gleaned from watching Joshua’s videos – and it’s refreshing to see the love for music being shared. It’s not about sales, it’s not about showing a certain level of musical articulation, and it’s not even really so much about being critical, either. The reviews come down to the basics of just sharing the joy of music. In a world where negativity seems to drive content (as well as response to content), it is truly a breath of fresh air to see positivity winning. I suppose that for Joshua, there just isn’t any point in reviewing something if he doesn’t like it – because to him, this is about what he likes, and what he recommends.

As a blogger, I’ve learned the power of writing a post that drives response as well as page views. I’ve very much seen what makes people react wildly. In our case, it sure isn’t the posts about how much we love Duran Duran. Think about that.

-R

It’s Loaded with Fame: Conventions and Celebrities

People go to conventions to connect with other fans, to participate in activities not readily available in daily lives and to escape reality.  Another very significant reason that people go to conventions is for the celebrities.  Many conventions, most conventions, have celebrity or “special” guests.  Some conventions might have just one or two special guests and others have many.  Typically, these celebrities interact with the fans in a variety of ways, including participating in panels or question and answer sessions in which fans can ask questions, holding autographs sessions in which fans can get an autograph and/or holding a photo opps session in which fans can get pictures with the celebrity(s) of choice.

In my experience, people do seem to like going to conventions to meet and see celebrities.  At the Wizard World convention I went to in Chicago, in August, a lot of people I talk with came to meet one or two of the celebrity guests.  Some people came back year after year to see the same celebrity.  Sometimes, the bigger name celebrities had very long lines to get autographs and pictures.  The lesser known celebrities still had people who were interested in getting pictures or even just an opportunity to exchange a few words.  Yet, it did seem that anyone interested in a particular celebrity could get to that celebrity eventually, especially if the fan had the time and the money for one of these extras.  Of course, many of these celebrity focused activities have specific times.  For example, if you wanted a picture of person X, you had to get it done between 1 and 2 pm.  Thus, people scheduled their convention activities even around the celebrities.

I wonder how important these celebrity appearances are to the fans attending a convention.  Do they get people in the door?  Do they get people to pay the money for a ticket?  Would people go if there is just one celebrity or one celebrity who people really cared about?  Is it the fact that there might be many celebrities at a convention that you like?  Does it matter which type of fan activity is possible–meaning that getting an autograph might be more important to some than a question and answer session or vice versa?  In many cases, autographs and photos are extras.  They do not come with the ticket.  You pay for each autograph and each picture.  In some cases, you might pay to attend a panel.  Would those additional costs matter?  Would it matter how MUCH those extras were?

Seriously, I would love to know.  Would you be more likely to go to a convention if there was a celebrity you liked?  What about many celebrities?  Would you want panels/Q&A sessions, autograph sessions and/or photo sessions with the celebrities?  Would you be willing to pay extra for those sessions?  How much for a celebrity you love, love, love (like a member of Duran Duran!)?  How much for a celebrity you like a lot?  Would you go to a convention if there weren’t celebrities there?

-A