Tag Archives: duranduran.com

Now We’re Online: When DD.com Was Hacked

In 2017, websites are commonplace. Most of us are on the web and surf our way through hundreds of sites each day, even if we’re not thinking about it. It would be unthinkable to run a company and not have a web presence. Sites act as advertising, storefronts, social gathering spots, newspapers, informational brochures, and even corner speakers. Duran Duran has operated their website for years now.  Amanda and I have come to rely on it for a variety of purposes. We are typically able to find what we need, and it’s always up and running.

There was a period of time back in the late 90s when this wasn’t exactly the case. First, I’ll set the scene: it’s 1999. Medazzaland had been released in 1997, the band was touring and playing smaller clubs on the Let It Flow tour. Pop Trash wasn’t released until 2000.  Earlier in August, Duran Duran had signed a 3-album deal with Hollywood Records.  John Taylor was no longer with the band, instead playing dates in small clubs like the Viper Room in Hollywood, California with Terroristen. Sugartown was being released and John had been doing the typical press tour junket to promote the film. During the 90s, there were times when the band were even self-managed, as Wendy Laister and Magus Entertainment did not come aboard until 2001. Before anyone asks, yes – Katy Krassner was working with the band by this time. I don’t know if she was directly involved with their website in the same sense as she is now.  Very different days.

Months might go by without a single update made to the band’s site, even if there was a new album coming out, or upcoming tour dates—news items that would have definitely been of interest to fans, and might even help the band if they were announced. It became something of a side joke to long time fans, and not a “ha ha” funny joke, but one of those snide comments you might make to one another in jest. During this specific period, possibly while the band was self-managed, between labels (until August when they signed with Hollywood Records), it had been several months since the website had been touched at all. Security for the site was lax, to say the least. Picture the place as a ghost town with a message board of fans continually writing posts asking why the site wasn’t being updated, and you might have a fairly accurate scene. Despite the outcry from some fans even asking if they could help out and update the site themselves, there seemed to be some sort of gaping hole between the band and fans, until one fateful day in September of 1999 when one fan—Redsexy on dd.com—hacked the website herself and updated it.

Had it not been for her, I’m not sure how long it might have been before the website would have been updated. Self-managing isn’t an easy thing. Just imagine – on top of writing the music, you’re managing everything else. Promotion, image, contracts, touring, people who work for you, all of the large and small details. All of it.

Today’s websites aren’t so horrible. If you use something like WordPress (as I do), it’s fairly simple – but there is still a lot I don’t know how to do, and there’s not much time for me to learn.  Imagine Simon, Nick, or Warren trying to wrangle a  website back in the 90s, without the ease of WordPress or other site management companies, much less having the time to sit down and update the news or tour dates! Impossible.

So on this date in 1999, Redsexy took matters into her own hands, and we thank her for it. I’m not sure how the band felt, but I admired your spirit.

-R

 

Your Life Went Flashing By

I consider myself to be a pretty forgiving fan. Now, before those of you who really know me start laughing in protest (or is it in jest?)…let me explain. I wait around while the band takes years to write and record. Not literally. I mean, I’m at home in California. I still pay at least half-attention to what’s going on.  I don’t mind that we (the fans) have managed to frighten the band off to the point where they very rarely engage on social media. (I don’t mind MUCH, I should say.)  I understand that the chances of my ever winning tickets to see them or a meet and greet are probably like, zero. In a snowstorm.  Here in LA. (I think you probably get my point.) On the other hand, I am also pretty forgiving towards my fellow fans. I don’t expect everyone to know all of the band members birthdays, zodiac signs, or even their favorite colors. (I don’t know their favorite colors myself, now that I think about it.) I don’t expect everyone to know which album is the most collectible or even the most valuable, should you run across a specific printing or so forth. I don’t necessarily think everyone has to know their signatures so well that they are able to authenticate them, for instance. I think it’s just fine that some people do not go to every show, or own every album, or go to every event. Let’s face, I’m not even able to do that, not by a long shot. So why would I expect that of others, right?

However, and this is a big however…there are SOME things though, that should be common knowledge by now. For example, I kind of think that most fans, most people that would bother to  comment on the band’s Facebook page for example, should know that the Taylor’s are not brothers.(It’s a coincidence, people.) I kind of feel that most people should be able to recognize that Rio was not the band’s last album (Seriously??), and if I’m really reaching, perhaps they should know that the band has actually put out albums since 1993. (Just stop.)

Along this same vein, it really does floor me when people who proclaim to love the band with ever fiber of their being decide to comment on recent photos or news about the band and ask “Where’s Andy?”

You see, I don’t really ask for much. I don’t. I know that not everyone has the time, energy or capacity to write daily blogs about the band. I realize that I’m unusual. Quirky, even. I know that not everyone schedules personal vacations to coincide with tours, or has an ongoing spreadsheet to keep track of every possible moment in Duran history. Yes, I know what OCD is, thanks.

As much as I try to be understanding, I can’t help but scratch my head in wonder as questions like that are asked. I wonder what those fans have been doing all this time. I mean, there was an extended period of time where I wasn’t on top of my game. I didn’t know much about John’s solo career, for instance. I knew even less about Simon’s. Around the time of Medazzaland (and perhaps a bit before), I really did stop paying attention. Even so, I knew when John left the band…and it wasn’t just some crazy form of ESP that told me. No, I’d heard about it somewhere. When I really got back involved in the fan community, I spent some time catching up. I did a lot of reading. The last thing I wanted was to ask something that was common knowledge, and for those of you who remember the message boards at dd.com – you know that was the LAST place you wanted to ask a stupid question. So, I caught myself up. Fast. I enjoyed reading and finding out what they’d been up to, because this was a band that I’d loved since I was ten or eleven years old.

We all occasionally miss things, I suppose. To me, Andy leaving is a pretty big thing to miss…but to others, perhaps not. Life happens, and at our age, a LOT of life tends to happen, really fast.  Even so, it’s getting to the point where I’m seriously considering a Duran Duran FAQ.

To those poor unaware souls, allow me: He’s gone. He’s been gone since 2006. Why? As John likes to say, we’re just gonna call it “differences”.  If you’re asking about Andy, my guess is that you haven’t heard Red Carpet Massacre OR All You Need is Now…much less have any idea who Dom Brown might be.  In which case, I would invite you to head on over to iTunes or where ever you go to buy music and get some, because you’re about to have your head completely explode.  No time like the present to catch up a bit, because next year will bring new music.

(Wait, #DD14 IS coming out next year, right Duran Duran??  Just checking….)

-R

 

 

 

When you talk about loyalty

If you did not hear the news about the Austin show or the “secret” show in Monterey, California yesterday, you must have been off of the internet yesterday and unlike me – you were probably very productive. Well done!

For me though, the day was, well…busy.  Don’t get me wrong, I like busy. This was the sort of busy that happens after months and months of nothing. This was the kind of busy that takes your breath away for a minute, and you have to kind of snap yourself back into reality, wondering what to announce first, whether or not you should blog, and most importantly…whether or not you should enter a contest, which brings me to the subject of this blog.  Sit back, relax and prepare to laugh.

There are always going to be shows that we can’t do. I, for instance, cannot really book a plane and head off to, say, South America. I would LOVE to do that, I really would, but if the band were to play in Argentina, I would probably have to pass on those shows. Yesterday when the band announced the show in Austin and I realized that the show was actually on a Saturday in November – within striking distance of my birthday, there was a brief second when I thought “What if?!?” It didn’t take me long to come crashing back down to reality when I saw the prices for the show. Not to mention that I’d need to travel and find somewhere to stay, but the ticket prices are pretty high. I can honestly say that Amanda and I have never paid anywhere near $575 for a ticket, and if you know us, you already know that there’s no way we would settle for the cheaper (HA!) balcony tickets at $325 a piece. Been there, done that, I need the floor thank you. For me, dreams of that trip ended. There are always going to be shows that we can’t do.

So, I spent a large portion of the rest of my day helping my daughter Heather start her dance applications for college. I’m going to apologize right now for bringing her up on the blog – because by the time she graduates in May and goes off to college in August of next year, you’re all likely to know her very well! It’s going to be a very stressful year for ME as a mom, and the way I’m planning to work through this is by talking about it here. I’m sorry. I just hope maybe that some of you will understand  and maybe use some of what I share to help your own kids out. Or else you can just laugh at our missteps, because I’m sure there are going to be PLENTY. Anyway, we were working on a dance essay. Let me share the topic: You’re choreographing a dance number for about 15 kids – the kicker is that those 15 kids are ALL YOU at various ages in your life, from 3 years old on up to your present age (which for her is 17). Describe the dance, the kids in the dance and how you might use some of these kids for special parts in the dance. What is your methodology? I sat and watched Heather’s brain basically explode before we started…so that was fun. This is application number ONE of like twelve. It’s going to be a long Autumn.

It wasn’t until late afternoon when someone sent me a direct message that I started paying attention to the internet again. The notification on my phone went off and I knew I’d better check it. Little did I realize that MY brain was about to explode. The message sent me the link to the information about the secret show in Monterey California, and in case you haven’t read it or know what I’m talking about – which is kind of important – here it is! (taken from duranduranmusic.com)

“Duran Duran will be playing a private show at a secret location in Monterey CA on September 3rd at 6pm. If you are a DD VIP member and are in the area (and, most importantly, will be able to attend) please send an email to ddvip@magusentertainment.com with MONTEREY in the subject line. 

Act fast as the deadline to enter is Wednesday August 27th at 5pm. We will randomly select 5 winners, who can bring a guest, and will announce on the Fan Community website on Thursday August 28th. 

Winners will receive all of the details via private email. 

GOOD LUCK!”

Monterey is a little north of me as I live in Orange County – but what’s four or five hours of driving if we’re talking about Duran Duran?? As I mulled over the possibilities, three things came to mind:

1. I can drive to this show. Thus, it’s not REALLY “traveling” (I’ve been put on “traveling restriction” due to some silly thing about budgeting from the last tour….) Besides, it’s not really touring either, because Amanda cannot join me (and this for me is the real tragedy. I can just picture us on a road trip in my car going up to Monterey!!) I know how to split hairs, and this is totally just barely inside the current “Rivera Household Regulations”

2. This is the day BEFORE my kids start school. Thus, it is really still Summer! (never mind how I’m going to get my kids to school that following day)

3. I am not currently a paid member of Duranduranmusic.com.

Wait what?  Hold the phone…what?!?

That’s right. I gave up my membership quite a while ago. Truth be told, and I’ve blogged about this many, MANY times here – I felt that the management of DDM was well, awful. I know that we’ve gone through a couple different fan club management teams now, and I’ve noticed very little by way of actual improvements – but it was a couple (few?) years ago when, in a fit of disgust, I said no more. I would NOT pay money to an organization that couldn’t keep track of who was a member, who had paid, and most importantly – that did virtually nothing for it’s members. That’s not to say I didn’t love Duran Duran or that I felt as though they had anything directly to do with what was happening with DDM, but I had to make decisions based on what *I* knew. So I quit. I didn’t renew, and up until yesterday, I didn’t feel that I was missing anything. Amanda still had her membership, and when we bought tickets, she simply used hers. Other than that, she really didn’t use DDM much.

So, I sat there pondering point number 3 on my list. I alternately bit my thumbnail (horrible habit) and chewed my bottom lip (another terrible nervous habit of mine). Do I join? If I join, will it count? Can I still enter the contest? If I join, does it make me look like an ass for not renewing until there was a contest? I hate being a hypocrite, so how do I feel about DDM these days anyway? More lip chewing and nail biting.

I’m sure many of you would have bought the membership without even thinking twice. Still more of you already HAVE your membership and are probably thinking that I’m an idiot for not having one, but that since I’m not currently a member that’s my problem. You’re absolutely right on all accounts. Fair enough. For me, it’s the principle. I spoke with my dollars – the fan community sucked and I wasn’t going to pay for it. Has that really changed?

The ONE thing that has changed is that DDHQ brought DDM back in-house. They know what’s going on there because they’re the ones managing it. Now whether that’s going to be a resounding success or a disaster remains to be seen, but there is some comfort (at least in MY head) that the band’s management is now directly involved. That doesn’t mean it will be perfect, but you know – it might be improved. The platform itself is great, they just need people to run it that actually care. So, as I thought about that, I found myself filling out the information to rejoin.

So I did the one thing I swore I’d never do again…and that was be a part of DDM. Damn it. That said, I have a blog and I’m not afraid to use it. I’m truly hoping that the site becomes a source of pride and somewhere for fans to gather rather than a laughing point amongst fans, but in either case I’ll be watching and reporting.

In the meantime, I’m trying very hard not to think about that contest. I typically have terrible luck, so while I’m crossing various appendages hoping that I win, I also realize that the chances are slim.  But, you can’t win if you don’t play, right?

-R

 

 

 

 

 

This Week in Duranland – July 14 – July 20

After last’s week excitement with Duran Duran performing at the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, this week was bound to be calmer.  While I loved, loved, loved the excitement, I knew that it might not stay that way.  Nonetheless, there were some interesting happenings this week in the Duran Duran universe.  As always, I looked into the official sites and the social media sites for my news.

First, there was a new Collector’s Corner published, which focused on the first album and the various releases of that first album, including re-releases, international releases, etc.  I found it fascinating and highly recommend reading it here.

Second, there was a new jukebox up on duranduran.com, which includes some gems like Tel Aviv and My Antarctica.  Check it out here.

Beyond official website updates, here are some other recent happenings.

Singer/songwriter, Tori Amos, covered Rio live in concert this week, which you can see/hear here.

Ask Katy has a new website!  Go check it out and sign up for her newsletter here.

Another online place to check out is Anna Ross’s Facebook page, which you can get to here.   You might just see a Duran clip or two!

Yet, I will finish this week’s summary with what I think is the best NEWS of the week!  John Taylor sent out a little tweet yesterday, which got many a Duranie all excited!  What was the big news?  He was in the studio in London with…Mr. Mark Ronson!  Now, it is no secret that the authors of this blog loved, loved, loved Duran’s last album and thought that the quality of the music proved that Mark Ronson was the right producer for Duran.  Therefore, when reading this tweet, I can’t help but to feel like all is right in Duranland.

I can’t wait to see what next week will be!!!

-A

Today in Duran History – Berlin

On today’s date in 2005, Duran Duran played at the Museumsinsal  in Berlin. According to the ever-trusty tour archive at duranduran.com the band went on at 8pm!  What was the set list, you asked?

Ask and you shall receive…

SUNRISE
HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF
PLANET EARTH
UNION OF THE SNAKE
WHAT HAPPENS TOMORROW
COME UNDONE
A VIEW TO A KILL
TIGER TIGER
CHAUFFEUR
CHAINS
ORDINARY WORLD
SAVE A PRAYER
TASTE THE SUMMER
NOTORIOUS
NICE
CARELESS MEMORIES
WILD BOYS

GIRLS ON FILM
RIO

Additionally, on some stops of the Astronaut tour, there was a segment called “On the Road” that was written by someone named Jenn who worked for duranduranmusic.com.  Her job, among many other things I’m sure, was to be a type of fan liaison for VIP ticket holders.  If you went to a show as a VIP (during the Astronaut tour – this changed as time went on) Jenn would be the one to check your tickets, hand you the special VIP merchandise, and if there were problems – she’d handle them.  I thought it would be a fun, as we skip down memory lane, to take a look at the “On the Road” entry for this date.  These can be found on duranduran.com  in the tour archive, which is where this was lovingly borrowed:

When the bus pulled up this morning and I came to, I looked out the window and to my surprise we were in the middle of town, right on the river, at a beautiful museum. I look a little closer and I see a beautiful lawn and a huge stage. And I realize that we are playing an outdoor show on the lawn of a museum! This is one of the most interesting shows I have ever seen! Interesting good, I mean! The only thing that was less than ideal was the sparse rain through the day, but they held back the rain for the show, which is most important! Oh yes, there was also a sound restriction, so the folks further back did not have as intense of a sound as they do usually, but it was still a FANTASTIC night. 

The band had some interviews and what not, so they got to the venue a little later than usual. But just enough time for John to come into catering and steal part of my swordfish—he did not have any protein today, or so he says. He’s so funny; I guess if you are going to share your swordfish with anyone, John Taylor is a pretty cool guy to share it with. 

The band was in a really fun and playful mood.they walked out on stage and were all smiles and laughs. They were just having a really great time tonight. They seemed the most relaxed that I have seen them in a while, like they were there to have a good time with their friends. And the front row of VIPs was a very familiar crowd, lots of old friends with us last night! And John noticed.he said at one point “I feel like I know everyone in the audience!” And they played it great; a fun show to watch. It was still light out for the first half of the show, and that is always a treat. It’s truly like 2 different shows when that happens. Good stuff! 

The VIP was great, we had tables overlooking the river, tons of champagne and cheese and crackers and chocolates, a very cool little scene. And since we were only about 200 yards from the stage, many (almost all) of the guests took to the stage early, caught the support band’s sound check and claimed front row! 

This was a great way to start our German run. I can’t believe that we played at this place! It was so full of history, it was unreal. We are playing the most amazing places in Europe. Between this, and the Verona gig, and the massive festivals to follow, I don’t think I will ever be able to top it! I can’t believe how fast it’s going by. 

Thanks for stopping by, we are looking forward to Hamburg!!! 

Until next time. 

Jenn

I think it’s kind of neat to be nostalgic (yes, Duran Duran…I said nostalgic. I know how much time you all spend looking back…like none…so I’ll do it for you!) and see what was going on during that time.  The Astronaut tour was special in many ways – it was about the band reconnecting with the fans, and while I take nothing away from the shows before or after that tour – that one was special in it’s own way.  It was the first tour that we had DDM doing VIP’s, and for many of us (myself included), it was the first tour that I took part in with friends I’d made in the community.  Wish I’d been at this show in Germany, the setting sounded unique and beautiful!
-R

 

Today in Duran History – Maryland

On today’s date in 2008, Duran Duran played at the  Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland.  This was during the Red Carpet Massacre tour.

As an aside, I just express my joy for dd.com. I can say that there is rarely a single day that goes by that I don’t need to go to the website for something, whether it’s to check a date, look at the discography, read some news…or in this case, find a set list.  While they don’t have every single tidbit of information, they have a lot…and I know that Amanda and I are among their frequent visitors.

So…what did they play that night in Columbia, Maryland?  I’m so glad you asked!  Here’s the setlist, and you’ll note that this was during the time when they performed the beloved ElectroSet:  (copied from duranduran.com)

THE VALLEY 
RCM  
NITE RUNNER 
HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF 
PLANET EARTH 
FALLING DOWN 
COME UNDONE 
SKINDIVERS 
THE REFLEX 
SAVE A PRAYER 
VIEW TO A KILL 

ESET: 
LAST CHANCE/ ALL SHE WANTS/ WARM LEATHERETTE/ I DON’T WANT YOUR LOVE/ SKIN TRADE/ TEMPTED 

NOTORIOUS 
GIRLS ON FILM 
ORDINARY WORLD 
SUNRISE 
WILD BOYZ 

E: 
RIO 

Todays Date in Duran History – Boston

On today’s date just a few short years ago in 2011…John Taylor was interviewed on radio station 104.5 XLO in Boston.  Anyone hear the interview?

On another note entirely, Amanda and I stumbled across some really good news for the blog yesterday.  We noticed that we’ve been included on the links page for duranduran.com.  For us, this means a lot.  We realize that for most fans, they probably read this sort of thing and think “Big deal…who cares?”  I get that, and you know, yes – for most people it really doesn’t matter.  To Amanda and I though, it is representative of some very hard work over the past three and a half years. Time, energy, and love. We’ve been included among the best fan websites out there. It’s a symbolic gesture that matters, and we truly, truly appreciate DDHQ for including us. It means that we’re working together – and make no mistake, we are.  We’re on board to help the band, and to help the fans. It’s a delicate balance that I tend to destroy on a daily basis because I’m very much the bull in a china shop around here….but it’s fun. Amanda and I laugh a lot even as I’m cursing the latest rumor or thinking of how to word something so that no fan can possibly take issue. (Impossible.)

It’s rare that she and I will publicly congratulate ourselves, because let’s face it, it’s not cool to be a bragger, and neither of us are very good at that sort of thing.  But this time, I’m going to take the second or two and enjoy.

Blx9VgeCEAAljBg.png-large

Sorry I upstaged John’s date in history.  Listen…I don’t even remember that interview!!  😀

-R