Tag Archives: Duran Duran

Today in Duran History – Atlanta 2008

On this date in 2008, Duran Duran played at Chastain Park Amphitheatre in Atlanta, Georgia.  This is the same venue that Rhonda and I saw them play at, in the summer of 2012.  What was our experience like there?  Well, it was difficult to get to without a car as it is in a residential area.  It was also extremely hot and muggy.  Humidity was very strong.  Perhaps, it would not be as bad in May as it was in August.

Was anyone at this particular show in 2008?  How was it?

I did find a number of videos from this show on YouTube, but chose to include the band intros video as they are always a favorite of mine!

-A

Question of the Day: Saturday, May 17, 2014

Yesterday’s winner:  Picture U

JT-U

Where It’s Gonna End Up

Yesterday, I had a staff meeting after work.  I have to admit that I found my mind wandering.  Instead of thinking about the topic at hand, what I had to do after the meeting, or the happy hour I was going to enjoy with former colleagues, I found my mind wandering over to Duran Duran. I started thinking about the most recent Katy Kafe and the song title given.  I pondered, “Do I like it??  Is it cool??”  As typical with me, after a day of work, I quickly move on to a different but related topic.  What are the things that Duran has done that I really like?  I think about all the little announcements we have gotten in recent months from working with choirs to Mr. Hudson to this song title.  Then, I thought about announcements in the past from working with Mark Ronson to introducing an album on Broadway to have 5 individual versions of a video as well as a regular, whole group one.  My fleeting brain then started pondering moves made with their videos.  Was the nudity in Girls on Film a good idea?  What about the supermodels in Girl Panic?  What about no band in The Chauffeur?  Of course, what about their live performances?  Have I liked every thing they have done with their live shows?  Did I like the heads in the All You Need Is Now tour?  What songs mixed into Duran classics have worked and which ones haven’t?

So, then, I gave my unable-to-focus-on-anything brain a task.  A focus.  I decided to think about the first 10 things that Duran has done at some points of their careers that I just have just loved.  I gave myself only 3 minutes to complete my list.  I did not allow myself to think too much.  I wanted to see what would float to the top of my brain.  I realized, of course, that this would not be perfect or in any order or that, if I did this again, the next day or the next month, I would probably have very different answers.  Yet, I resisted the urge I had to organize the list.  I wanted to go with the flow.  Here is what I came up with in 3 minutes and in no particular order.

10 Things Duran Did That I Loved:

*Electro Set

*Careless Memories anime video

*MARK RONSON

*The addition of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Relax in Wild Boys during recent live performances

*Falling Down video

*Including past Duran footage in current video (video for All You Need Is Now, for example)

*The use of humor in video (Rio, for example)

*The influence and use of other arts in their visual presentation

*JoSi and DoJo moments during a concert

*Long, individual band introductions during concerts

I admit that the task wasn’t easy as I could think of about 200,000 things that Duran has done that I have loved.  I could have named specific songs and videos and didn’t.  They just didn’t pop up in my head the way these other ones did.  Are those my favorite things?  Your guess is as good as mine!  I suspect that if I gave myself more time, I would answer very differently.

So Duranies, interested in a quick Duranie challenge that doesn’t require too much time or knowledge?  I know you are.  I challenge you to do what I did:

In 3 minutes, list the first 10 things Duran Duran did that you thought was really cool.  They do not have to be in any order, except to list them as you thought about them.  Do not edit or attempt to control your list.

After that, please share your list with us and the rest of the Duran fan community!!!  I cannot wait to see what people come up with!

-A

Today in Duran History – Brighton 1987

On this date in 1987, Duran Duran played at the Brighton Conference Centre in Brighton, UK.  Were you there?  If so, what was it like?  For those people who are curious, this show was in the middle of the European leg of the Strange Behaviour.  Based on my tour polls, this tour seemed very popular to attend.  What was it like? Any highlights that you remember?  Any disappointments?

-A

Question of the Day: Friday, May 16, 2014

Yesterday’s winner:  Picture T

JT-T

Today in Duran History – Big 80s Pop

On today’s date in 2001, VH1 released a compilation CD called The Big 80s Pop.  Duran Duran’s New Moon on Monday was included on the CD.

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CD track listing:

1. She Drives Me Crazy – Fine Young Cannibals
2. Sowing The seeds Of Love – Tears For Fears
3. Manic Monday – The Bangles
4. Kokomo – The Beach Boys
5. Everytime You Go Away – Paul Young
6. Private Eyes – Daryl Hall/John Oates
7. Too Late For Goodbyes – Julian Lennon
8. Don’t Dream It’s Over – Crowded House
9. I’ve Been In Love Before – Cutting Crew
10. New Moon On Monday – Duran Duran
11. Kids in America – Kim Wilde
12. Turn Me Loose – Loverboy
13. I’ve Done Everything For You – Rick Springfield
14. Walking on Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves
15. Breakout – Swing Out Sister
16. What I am – Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians

Wow…I don’t think I’ve seen such an eclectic group of songs since I last looked at one of my old K-Tel records…Poptastic!!

In case you still want it – I believe there are still a few hanging around on Amazon!

-R

Question of the Day: Thursday, May 15, 2014

Yesterday’s winner:  Picture R

JT-R

May Katy Kafé with Nick Rhodes!

I have been waiting with trepidation since Katy Krassner excitedly tweeted yesterday that she was able to get Nick to give ONE incredible possible song title for this month’s Kafe.  This is huge, huge news that comes in the middle of a desert of very, very little in the past year or so.  We hear things every once in a bit, but this…this is solid, exciting news for #DD14.

As always, I took copious notes and gave the Kafe my rapt attention amongst getting my youngest ready for school, giving attention to my son – who is in the middle of major school projects and so forth. That said, I am pretty sure I missed things, and this is by no means going to be a word-for-word reiteration of the Kafe. I always, always recommend that you go straight to DDM to hear it for yourself, as these are just the highlights.

Album News:

Nick is in the studio today, working with Mr. Hudson.  They have already done two songs, and this would be the third.  As Nick put it – they finally “cracked the lyric on a ballad” (that is going to be central to this album) that they’d had on their plates for a year.  That should really tell all of us something – they are working HARD on this album.  He says that Mr. Hudson comes to them with great energy, lots of ideas, and that he has a great musical ear.  He is very diverse (as I’ve mentioned in an earlier blog that you can read here.) and he reminds me a bit of Mark.

Speaking of Mark, and I know plenty of you out there ARE wondering about his involvement on this album – he was with the band in the very beginning and then came back to the studio a couple of weeks ago to see how things were going. He did not, however, actually do any producing for them at the time – Nick was very careful to articulate that they WANT to work with him again, and are hoping to carve time out in July.  Mark is a busy guy though, and it’s tough to get on his schedule.  Katy asked Nick if anything from that initial work with Mark (at the beginning of the album process) has survived. Nick said that two songs have survived, and one of them is a piece that Mark worked on.  Again, this says they’ve really scrapped most of that early work entirely.  The process is an evolution, certainly. They went into this project wanting to reinvent a bit, reinvigorate…and that process took longer than usual.

The one point that Katy made is that we fans always think the albums come in Durantime (very true!)…but one thing that the band hasn’t really articulated before is that they try to let the album develop…develop it’s own personality, and sometimes that just takes time.  This is a band, as we well know, that wants to constantly cover new ground “sonically”. They don’t want to rehash the same thing over and over again.  Nick makes the point later in the Kafe that they never wanted the music to become cliché or do something completely formulaic.  In fact, the band’s “formula”, so to speak, is to smash it all and rebuild with each new album.  They try to keep some of the same elements that make up the “Duran Duran Sound” (Simon’s voice, for instance), but it’s a fine balance.  He continues by saying that back in the 80s, that they really didn’t have the luxury to sit back and allow the albums to develop themselves in the same way they did with this one – there was no time to just sit and think.  However, even though they take the time to explore and record more thoroughly nowadays, they also have to know when they’ve found what they’re looking for.  Since they’ve been working now for over thirty years, it is more of a challenge to find that unchartered territory – the areas that they want to explore.  They have to dig a little deeper to find it.  As Nick said, “more things have been said now”.  He uses synthesizers as an example.  Back then, synthesizers hadn’t been used all that often – so there was a ton of new real estate to seek out, but nowadays, there are entire albums written with just synthesizers and rhythm units.  Nick seemed very proud to say though that they’ve “seen the light” and that they seem to be through the tough part of the process, which is great to hear.  He also said that there are a couple things on this album that the band has never done before, which is very exciting to hear.

Basically, the very things that we love about this band – the risk taking, the fact that no two albums ever sound exactly the same, the innovation – those are the reasons why this album has taken so long, and in fairness to Nick (and the rest of the band), he openly admits it’s taken longer this time.  But I suppose we can forgive that, right??

So about that possible song title… Katy asked him if he’d throw us one, and at first Nick hedged, saying that he could get into trouble.  Katy reminded him that none of them listen to the Katy Kafés, and Nick said “Well, there is one early one…Valentine’s Stone.”

I’m just waiting for you all to catch your breath on that one.  Are we all good? Still with me here??

Nick says he’s not sure if that one will even be on the album – but it’s a title.  Naturally the first thing *I* thought of when hearing it was The Reflex.  Can’t help it, my head went there. You know…”dancing on the Valentine…”

I was so excited about getting that darn title yesterday. I’ve been chomping at the proverbial bit for months, hoping to get a teensy tidbit. Now we’ve got one, and I’m sitting here trying to think of something witty and thoughtful to say.  It’s just great to hear that we’re at the stage where we’re getting something of substance from that studio!

Diamond in the Mind Vinyl:

Nick is very proud of this vinyl. Like me, he feels that music is best heard on vinyl, and so they’ve wanted to put as much out on a vinyl version as possible.  This is the first live album they’ve produced on vinyl since Arena.  He is particularly proud of the artwork, which includes a diamond dusted cover.  This is very exciting and sounds like it is going to be stunning! They worked with Rory McCartney on this project, and I hear that there is soon to be a Fan Community (DDM) Q&A from Rory on the website soon…she said it was very creative!

Careless Memories photo book:

While the exhibit for this took place WAYYYYY back in November of last year, the book itself has taken longer than they’d hoped to complete.  Nick apologized to anyone who had ordered an advance copy, but the good news is that the finished product is being printed any day now and will be ready to ship SOON. They worked with John Warwicker, who was also the Creative Director for Astronaut – and the completed product is a sight to behold, according to Nick.  There are quotes from the band in the book, and MOST importantly (in my opinion), is that Andy IS included in the book.  He was included in the quotes, and I’m thrilled to be able to pass on that tidbit to all of you.  From the first moment of reading about this book coming to fruition, I felt that Andy should absolutely be involved. He was in the band at the time, and it would have been a mistake to not include him.  It’s great news that his memories are also to be found within the pages.

Birthdays and DD Appreciation day in August:

Nick’s birthday is June 8th, which falls on a Sunday this year. Apparently his idea of celebrating this year is going for a walk! He’s looking forward to a low key birthday this year…and even though Katy prompted him to “maybe get a twitter” for next year’s birthday, Nick said he was “Not going to promise that one, sorry!”  (I think we’ve got a ways to go before ever seeing Nick on Twitter, folks…)

Before parting ways, Katy commented that we’d hear from Nick in August for Duran Duran Appreciation Day and Nick mentioned that they had an offering for that special day.  Hmmm….talk about creating speculation, I wonder what THAT might be???

-R

Love Never Felt so Good – Jackson/Timberlake

It’s rare that I discuss other bands or artists here on the blog, but I kind of thought this deserved special mention.

Have you heard the new Michael Jackson song that features Justin Timberlake…and more importantly, have you seen the video?  It’s all over Twitter this morning, and so I decided to take a peek.

I heard the song itself on Monday night when it was used on Dancing with the Stars – not a show I normally watch, but I was flipping channels and caught it.  I have to say that I like the song. It reminds me very much of Michael’s older work.  I hear a lot of “Rock with You” in there, and I really like that. I have no doubt that the song, the album, and just about anything else they can squeeze the life out of will be exploited well beyond reason, which makes me incredibly sad, but the song is good. It’s Michael….and oh yes, it features Justin too.

I watched the video this morning. Granted, I’m not a Justin fan and I really don’t get his part in the video. Yes, I know he sings on the song, but for me even that seems to be a carefully placed afterthought. That doesn’t mean I don’t think he does a good job, because he does. (It’s his type of music and he performs extremely well. It’s not like he’s actually trying to sing on a Duran Duran song or something!  Oh wait…) I just think his part wasn’t necessary.  (Please see the above comment about exploitation.)  However, that wasn’t what really set me off this morning to write this blog.

As I watched the videos, I must admit that at several points I found myself watching the clips of his old videos and feeling pretty melancholy. I wasn’t ever a huge Michael Jackson fan. My sister might even say that I couldn’t stand him. That’s not exactly true, I was just sick to death of hearing about him during a time when I felt that Duran Duran ruled the world…but that’s OK. I was young and didn’t quite get it, I suppose.

I don’t think you can really be a music fan or a fan of the American Dance movement and not see the genius that took place every time Michael performed. Overexploited? Yes. Without a doubt…but still brilliant in every single way. As my daughter Heather’s dance instructors have always told her since the very day Michael passed – when you watch Michael Jackson, you are seeing the same moves we use today, and he was the reason we do them.  Musically, Michael is *the* reason people like Justin Timberlake got into music – you can hear that influence consistently in his work.  So while I may not pay homage to the man in the same way I do Duran Duran, I have great respect for his music and talent.

So, getting back to that video – as I watched, it felt just a little creepy to me. I couldn’t decide if I was disgusted that once again Michael continues to be exploited even after his death, or that I was annoyed Justin Timberlake needed to take center stage…or that it was all just way too soon.  In some ways, I suspect the latter.  Michael died on June 25, 2009 (I googled it – no, I don’t just have these things in my head!), and while it has been nearly five years, I found that watching other very talented dancers doing his moves while his own videos played in the background just a little…well…sad.

I think to Duran Duran.  How would I feel if it were them? I don’t even like to think about that.  But truly? How would I feel if a label took their most iconic videos, like Rio or Hungry Like the Wolf put them together while someone like Justin – who claims to be just as influenced by DD as Michael (I really don’t buy that, by the way) did a duet with Simon…and not only Simon, but Simon post-mortem?  Granted, Simon’s not a big dancer (unless you’re counting that chicken dance….hey…did you know it’s National Chicken Dance day??), but even so…a label will do whatever they need to do to milk the last bit of life out of something.  If THAT doesn’t give you the shivers on this Wednesday, nothing will.  But really, how would YOU feel?

I’d hate it. With a passion. I’m not really sure five years could make that work for me, either.

So to recap: Yes on the song…and a very sad no on the video.

-R

 

 

 

 

Today in Duran History – Loveline

On today’s date in 1998, John Taylor appeared on KROQ’s Loveline.  What is “Loveline”, you ask??  Well…let me enlighten you!

To give some background, KROQ is an LA-area radio station, known for (at least back in the 80s and 90s) playing Alternative music.  In the 80s that meant New Wave. I’m very proud to say that KROQ introduced me to Duran Duran’s music. In the 90s, Alternative meant a lot of bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam…at least until mainstream radio got hold of ’em.

Back in 1983, Loveline was a Sunday night dating/relationship advice show on the station. It was hosted by DJs “Poorman” , Swedish Egil, and for a short time, Scott Mason (whom I barely remember).  The show began seriously, but over time – a really short time – it became a show that taught me (keep in mind that in 1983 I would have been 12 or 13 years old), all about sexual transmitted diseases, some of the strangest sexual positions and fetishes I’d ever heard of…and a plethora of other delights that, had my father been aware I was listening…he would not have been pleased.  (Thank you to my ever-trusty Walkman radio)

The show was wildly popular here in the LA area. I can remember going to school on Monday morning and exchanging chuckles and stories with my friends – who were also listening with contraband Walkman radios in bed at night.  We sure learned a lot from that show, I must say!  In 1984, the show began talking to Dr. Drew Pinsky – who was a 4th year medical student at USC at the time, and ended up with his own fan base from doing the show.  Now he’s known as Dr. Drew and has his own show on HLN, I believe. (and what’s really funny, at least to me – is that back when I listened to the show, I thought he was a grown up even then…and the man honestly hasn’t aged a bit since those days. I, however, have aged 30 years. How does that happen?!?)

The show was syndicated nationally beginning in 1985. At one point, MTV picked it up as a television program, following the same general format but with different hosts and a live audience.

And…because my research skills are impeccable…I found the actual tape of John Taylor on Loveline.  The link is below!

Loveline with John Taylor 5/14/1998

-R