Tag Archives: duranduranmusic.com

Appreciating Duran Duran’s Ticket Buying Process

I haven’t meant to blog this late today, but I had to get enough done before I wouldn’t feel guilty for taking a break.  Needless to say, I have worked hard today, but still have more that I hope to accomplish.  I do see the light at the end of the tunnel, though.  Anyway, I’m pausing from all that to write this little blog post.

A week or so, I wrote a blog post focusing on new Nine Inch Nails ticket sale method, which you can read here.  I got a number of responses to it, including comments here.  Afterwards, I had lingering thoughts that I wanted to address here.  Today, I’ll show my appreciation for Duran Duran ticket sales.  Tomorrow, I dive deeper into the power of fans at shows.

Over the years, Rhonda and I have written lots about presales and buying tickets for shows.  In most cases, those ticket buying events surrounded Duran Duran shows, but not always.  Looking back, I suspect that the vast majority of reviews have criticized or complained in some way.  For example, I distinctly remember expressing quite a bit of frustration when the summer 2016 shows went on sale as Ticketmaster’s sale went less than smoothly (due to Ticketmaster, I might add).  All that stress came out at whatever blogs we wrote at the time.  Likewise, I know that we have blogged plenty of times in which we discussed the time between announcement of a show and when the tickets went on sale.  It is almost guaranteed that when Duran announces a show there will be fans who will complain about how quickly the tickets will go on sale or the timing of the sale.

In thinking about those blogs, we weren’t wrong to write them.  Ticket sale outlets like Ticketmaster can and should do a better job.  Adequate time in between press releases and sales is always appreciated.  Yet, in thinking about how other bands have sold tickets, I really am thankful for Duran’s methods.  Let’s start at the beginning.  I am so glad that they have a fan club in which the members get to buy tickets ahead of the public.  That is a super nice feature, one that does not get mentioned enough.  This fact alone means that we have better chances to get tickets and to get better tickets.

Then, I think about the VIP packages.  While, yes, one might argue that they offer the wrong things or that they are too expensive, but I am so grateful that they exist.  They have given us plenty of chances to get really amazing seats.  Has it always worked?  No, of course not.  There have been shows that we didn’t get tickets when we wanted them or didn’t get anywhere near what we wanted when it came to seat locations.  In many cases, the experience of presales have been utterly stressful.  Yet, overall, we have so benefitted from this feature.  We have been able to be up front more times than we haven’t because Duran offered that possibility through the VIP packages.  I would also say that while they are expensive, they are not as much as I have seen with other bands.

The fact that Duran does offer fan community members to buy tickets before the public as well as VIP packages has been so important to my fandom as I have been able to see fabulous shows from prime locations.  Sometimes, I think, it is super important to appreciate what we have rather than complain about the flaws.  I, for one, hopes that the band keeps these elements forever.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I would welcome positive changes but I wouldn’t want them to get rid of presales or VIP packages.  Ever.

-A

April 2017 Katy Kafe with Roger Taylor!

This past weekend, the gift of a gleaming new April 2017 Katy Kafe with Roger Taylor was posted on DuranDuranMusic for members. I gave it a listen yesterday afternoon, knowing I’d be blogging the highlights this morning. Roger and Katy covered a variety of subjects, and as always—I took notes and will cover the more notable topics here. If you want the full Kafe, I’d suggest getting your DDM membership!

Lollapalooza

Roger said that going in, he was concerned that the crowd would be different, and that they might struggle with the audience. Apparently the average attendee for Lollapalooza was 23. But then he saw a lineup and felt they’d fit in nicely. Katy asked him if he likes festivals, and he said yes. He likes playing outside in the elements, and says that if you have the right audience, there’s nothing like it.

I think back to the now infamous photos of the Argentina show and sure, I suppose he’s right. I’m not a big fan of “the elements”, but I can understand where the band is coming from. Someday I’d like to ask the band if it makes any difference at all whether they’re playing a smaller gig in front of 3000 real fans, or many more thousand that might not know their music as well. Judging from the way the band responds online – I’d have to think that while of course they love the fans, when you’re talking about an audience filled with thousands of people, as long as those people are responding – it doesn’t matter.  To them, they’re all fans.

Katy also asked Roger if Lollapalooza was similar to Coachella. I thought this was an interesting question, particularly because it was something I’d wondered myself! To me it seemed the audiences were very different. I watched Coachella again recently – and the way the audience even responded was incredibly different. I felt the Coachella audience stood there waiting to be entertained, where in Argentina, it was far more a group experience. They were all in the show together.  That said, Roger said they were very similar. I’m not really surprised he responded that way, either. Roger is on the drums, in the back, and I don’t know how much of that “crowd feeling” he is able to fully absorb or even notice! Whereas my line of thinking was more about the emotion of the audience, Roger stuck to aesthetics. “They were at similar times of the day” and the crowd size was similar. (in the same ballpark anyway!)

July

Most people know that the band is going out again in July for two more festivals. One is the Calgary Stampede, and the other is Electric Picnic. Katy asked him about those, and Roger let us all in on a little secret—he tries not to look at the tour dates until about three days before he leaves.

If I had an emoji sign with wide eyes that I felt I could post without getting into copyright trouble – I’d post it here. Use your imagination.  This sends my slight OCD tendencies into OVERDRIVE. Oh my. I already have my hotel reservations for a trip I’m taking in July. I know how I’m going to get there and what time I’m going to leave…and it’s not even May!  But then, I don’t have “a good group of people” doing that for me. It’s me. I book the trips. I drive the car, too!  The difference of course is that I don’t tour often, I haven’t been doing this since I was twenty, and I don’t have other people doing the itinerary. There’s something really attractive of not having to be the one to worry about where I’m going though, and only having to show up to play. I wonder what that’s like….

Katy also tells him that he’s going to be missing his son’s birthday this year, and it is in that moment that I remind myself that yes, these guys really are still human. Roger sounded sad about missing Julian’s birthday – I think that’s a genuine drawback to being a musician. He says it’s part of the deal, you miss birthdays, school concerts, etc; and then Katy reminds him that he also gets to come home and be with his kids for months at a time and pick them up at school. (which he was getting ready to go do!)  That is true, and is a benefit that these musicians have that most normal people do not. While the band is gone for extended periods to work, when they come home, they’re not working. (Studio time aside, because that’s totally different) Other people go on business trips, come home, and go back to the office.

What about Australia???

This is the question of the moment. Katy asks if the band is still going there or if they’ve shelved the idea. Now, I have no doubt people heard all the hope in the world in his voice, but I have to say that I did not. Roger said that they are waiting for just the right dates and venues, and IF that happens, then yes they’d like to go there. He said that Australia is one of their favorite places to visit, so it’s not about not wanting to go. It sounds to me as though it is purely about the business-side. It’s not worth going if they don’t have the right set of dates and venue.

In my opinion, it didn’t sound all that hopeful. I know there are a ton of rumors out there about playing with Chic, but judging purely from what Roger said, it doesn’t sound as though any of that is solid as of yet. As for the rest of the world? Nothing was mentioned at all. Whether that was  due to time or because Katy chose to focus on the positive, I don’t know. 

What is next?

Katy asked Roger what their plans are for the rest of the year (after July). At one point, Roger felt that they might end 2017 in the studio, and she was wondering if that was still possible. Interestingly enough, Roger says they are going to be doing more dates (no place was mentioned).  He also said something about going somewhere special and filming it. He talked about how he thought they’d been touring Paper Gods for nearly three years now (While I can appreciate the thought that time flies – they’ve been touring Paper Gods since September of 2015, which means it will be two years. Yes, I checked the complete tour list!) and he said they’ve done a lot and would like to finish it out with it filmed. Then he said maybe after that they’d go into the studio, but nothing was really planned.

One thing I’ll note here is that Roger is really happy with just going with the flow. He seems perfectly content to go along with whatever is going to happen! 

Rio turns 35 (Impossible!!!)

Katy mentioned to Roger that yes, in May of this year, Rio will be 35. After I picked myself up off the floor, I heard her ask him to recall ONE memory from that album.  ‘John came into the studio one day and said, “We need to write a song we can open the set with.”….and that song became Rio.’  and then he laughed and said, “now it’s the closer.”  Katy asked Roger if he felt much pressure with Rio.  I was surprised that he said no. His feeling was that the first album had more pressure because they were still really learning how to play and how to be a band. For Rio, they had a backlog of material to choose from, and they were far more confident with their instruments. Roger even said it was an easy process, comparatively speaking to many of their albums which have not always been easy (I believe he would include Paper Gods in that description).

Oh! One thing that Katy asked – which is something I, too, have always wondered – was about that sound at the very beginning of Last Chance on the Stairway.  She wondered if it was the sound of a cigarette being lit. I was really surprised though that Roger didn’t know!  He said that he hadn’t listened to it back in years, but that it was probably a sound effect that Nick added at the very last-minute. Still no firm answer, but maybe Katy will ask Nick when she gets a chance.  This conversation led to a discussion of smoking. Of course, when the band started out, everyone was smoking. Roger had a mantra to “never smoke before midnight.”

I don’t even get that…but OK. I guess if I lived at a club (Rum Runner) I’d probably have had some weird mantras too. Hell, as it is I say “Not without a hazmat suit!”  (Don’t ask.)

Apparently Roger is a coffee drinker in the morning (me too, Roger me too…) and Katy is not, although she did have a brief coffee “thing”  at one point.

So I should never invite Katy for coffee.  And if I ever get close enough to invite Roger to chat – coffee might work in the morning.  (Sure, I’m dreaming. Who cares?!?) 

And about that birthday….

Roger has nothing really planned. Going to see his kids, his parents who live about two hours from him… but nothing super special. He comments that every decade seems to go faster.

I must wholeheartedly agree on that one. I’m actually worried about how quickly the 50’s are gonna go because my 40s have mostly flown by. Can’t we slow this down a bit?!? I still have a few years to go till I’m staring 50 head-on, but at this rate I’ll blink and it will be here. No thank you. 

Katy ended the Kafe with a bit of a spoiler, saying that they may be doing something special for Rio’s 35th “Birthday” in May…which is pretty exciting. Looking forward to that!!

Until next time!

-R

A Little Duran Shopping, Anyone???

Yesterday afternoon I left work wearing a light weight coat, enjoying  the warm wind as the sun was setting.  By the time I woke up this morning, the temperature dropped significantly and I could clearly see snow on the rooftops near me.  The weather reminded me that the end of the year is coming as is winter and upcoming holidays.  Perhaps, some of the holidays you celebrate include ones that involve purchasing gifts for your loved ones.  Maybe, some of your loved ones are people who identify as Duranies.  Here are three gift options for you to consider:

Paper Gods Limited Edition Box Set

Vinyl Factory is offering the following package:

– Custom made magnetised clamshell box with artwork by Alex Israel
– Seventeen kiss cut magnets printed four colours
– Four 12″ white vinyl records housed in bespoke sleeves

– Four art prints screen printed on Rainbow mirri board

– Thirty-six page booklet printed on 150gsm silk paper stock

– Individually numbered certificate, hand signed by DD & Alex Israel

– This is the only product gathering the complete set of songs recorded for the Paper Gods sessions, including exlusive versions of ‘Pressure Off’ and previously unreleased track ‘As Seen From A Distance’
– Limited to 350 copies worldwide
The Track Listing is as follows:

Tracklist

Vinyl 1.
A1. Paper Gods (Feat. Mr Hudson)
A2. Last Night In The City (Feat. Kiesza)
A3. You Kill Me With Silence

B1. Pressure Off (Feat. Janelle Monae and Nile Rodgers)
B2. Face For Today
B3. Danceophobia

Vinyl 2.
A1. What Are The Chances
A2. Sunset Garage
A3. Change The Skyline (Feat Jonas Bierre)

B1. Butterfly Girl
B2. Only In Dreams
B3. The Universe Alone

Vinyl 3.
A1. Planet Roaring
A2. Valentine Stones
A3. Northern Lights

B1. As Seen From A Distance
B2. On Evil Beach
B3. Cinderella Ride

Vinyl 4.
A1. Pressure Off (Night Version Feat. Janelle Monae and Nile Rodgers)
B1. Pressure Off (Night Version Instrumental Feat. Janelle Monae and Nile Rodgers)

Obviously, most Duran fans focused above the fact that it contains a song called, “As Seen From A Distance,” which would be new to most (all??) of us.  It also includes two night versions of “Pressure Off”.  While most of us would love to get our hands on this package, it is priced at £ 300, which is well beyond most people’s budgets, including mine.  If you do buy this or receive it as a gift, I would love a guest review of it!!!

Duran Duran Music’s New Gold Package

Duran Duran’s official fan community posted the following:

Now Available! In addition to Silver (which you may choose below) the brand new 2016/2017 GOLD level package which includes all of the exclusive content, contests and news included in the SILVER level (a $35 value) PLUS:

GOLD members receive everything in SILVER (a $35 value) PLUS:

• Brand new fan community exclusive gold foil Duran Duran logo’d t-shirt  
• Exclusive Duran Duran logo’d beanie/winter hat
• Exclusive black ceramic coffee mug with gold Duran Duran “Paper Gods” logo
• The classic DD logo’d Micro sticky note pad 
• Custom designed Paper Gods artwork & photograph postcard set
• Exclusive custom designed Paper Gods album artwork stone drink coaster set
• A welcome letter from John Taylor (reproduction)

* Note: There is no membership card in this package 
* Note: Please allow 6-8 weeks (usually sooner) to receive your package

I am usually one to jump at the chance to be the new gold package as I’m a sucker for Duran memorabilia, but this time I opted to just renew with the silver package.  There just was not enough to tempt me.  Besides, I have to say my money for those DC shows.  That said, if you happen to receive the gold package, we would love a guest blog from you.

New Items in the DD Shop:

Duran’s official web store has some new items for sale as well.  Probably the most exciting of the new items is the official calendar for 2017.  Maybe people in the fan community were disappointed that there was not one available last year.  This one features live shots from the Paper Gods Tour:

Of course, there are plenty of other items for sale in the store, including t-shirts, tour book, cell phone cases, magnets, patches and more from this current era.  If you are interested in items from older eras, there are some from All You Need Is Now, Red Carpet Massacre, Astronaut and even the reunion.  Helpful hint:  If you are a member of Duran  Duran Music, you get a 10% discount at the store.

On that note, happy Duran shopping!

-A

The Ticketmaster Debacle

I’ve been trying to sort out yesterday in my head.  Let me just put it out there: I’m still trying to figure out what shows we bought tickets for and where we’re sitting.  This isn’t because we’re doing that many shows, it’s because in hindsight – it all feels like a blur. Or maybe it’s more like it feels as though I was hit by a semi-truck (think “lorry” if you’re in the UK) and I’m laying on the highway in a heap as the traffic continues to buzz by, not even noticing that I’m there.

Yeah, that’s about the size of it.

I want to acknowledge a few things:

  1. There were people who had fantastic buying experiences. These people, by and large, were also folks who bought either “Ultimate” or “Gold” level VIP packages. I didn’t see any complaints from anyone who received a front row seat off the bat, and I didn’t really see many complaints from people who wanted gold unless there just weren’t those tickets left.
  2. Ticket buying has very little to do with the band.  The band plays the shows. They deliver on their end.  There is a business side to all of this though, and we must accept and acknowledge that the band has the right (and responsibility) to be in business and make money.
  3. DDHQ, on the other hand, is in fact that business side. Badmouthing DDHQ does very little to solve problems or to draw attention to issues fans had with pre-sales, so we’re just not. I respect that I cannot do their job(s), and I have no idea what it is like to manage a band. Period.
  4. Ticketmaster, however, IS the problem.

For quite a while yesterday morning, I really considered my issues with the pre-sales to be user-error. Maybe I didn’t click fast enough? Maybe I paused a bit too long before deciding to hit “bronze”? Perhaps I was just ticked-off about the price of tickets being so much more expensive than the last tour? Maybe all of the above?? I was, and am, willing to accept that at least part of it was me. I’ve had good luck with tours recently. I have had great seats. That luck can’t last forever. But then I started reading about the experiences of others and realized that some of the same crazy things that happened to me happened to other people. That’s just weird.

What were some of these crazy things? (and I am only listing things that I’ve seen mentioned in multiple places by multiple people)

  • “CAPTCHA” codes not working:  entering the code only to be told it’s not valid and having to do it again and again, or needing to close the window and start all over again, resulting in losing time.
  • No need to first go into DDM using your own user name and password before getting to the tour page, clicking on the gig of your choice and then being transferred over to Ticketmaster: Ultimately what I’m saying is that there was no firewall, so basically as long as one had the password that was sent in the email to fans announcing the pre-sale, you were able to participate in the pre-sale. Part of the reason (most of the reason?) we all join DDM to begin with is so that we have first access to those pre-sale tickets. I cannot tell you how many people have sent messages and told me on Facebook and Twitter that they won’t rejoin DDM next year because it doesn’t seem to help them.
  • Tickets in the process of being paid for disappearing out of carts: error messages pop-up on the screen saying something like “oops, your tickets are no longer available”.  When this happened to me, I thought it was because I had inadvertently taken too long, but then I glanced at the timer – and I had 7 minutes left to complete the transaction I was making for 2 Gold level VIP tickets. Naturally when I went back to get another pair – there were none available. Can’t cry over spilt milk, unless of course there are 50 other cases of this happening to other people – which there were. That’s just wrong.
  • Having to enter the DDM pre-sale password over and over and over again.  Isn’t once really enough??
  • For more than one venue, gold-level tickets were coming up in odd places, like several rows in back of that 6th row where Gold should end. I have been told that in one of the venues – Mandalay Bay in Vegas – where this happened, it’s because the venue’s row numbering “system” skips rows. In other places though, because it happened to other people in other places as well, as I’ve seen on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Lastly, and perhaps the most importantly: when (if) the MAP system comes up (where you can see for yourself what seats are available and choose them yourself), seats are coming up as “available” that have already been purchased. Unfortunately, when this issue was presented to Ticketmaster – they simply said it was “impossible”.  Except that it’s not because multiple people had it happen this morning before the option to use the map system stopped coming up and all you could do was click on “find my seats.” I guess we’ll all see for certain when we get to the shows and someone else has the same (valid) ticket to sit in the same seat as a Duranie, won’t we?

Those are just a few of the issues I saw repeatedly from fans…and comments continue to be posted to our Facebook page even today.  As I’ve said before, I recognize and respect the right of the band to make business decisions that fans don’t necessarily enjoy or understand. It happens and it continues to be a balancing act. We as consumers also “enjoy” the right to choose how and when to participate in the transactional relationship, which is it’s own balancing act.  While it may not be our choice (as fans) for Ticketmaster to be the ticketing service for pre-sales and fan ticket sales – it IS our choice whether or not we choose to participate. That balance is of course knowing that if we choose not to participate, we likely will not see the band on tour. I don’t know very many people willing to miss out on Duran Duran purely to take a stand, and DDHQ is going to do whatever they need to ensure the best profit for the band. That’s business, like it or not.

As a fan, it IS disheartening when things happen that make fandom feel more like work than fun. Days like yesterday tend to make me forget how I feel when I’m standing up and screaming in front of the band. In my craziest moments I may have even wondered if I should just stay home and not bother. I’ll just say this and leave it for the rest of you to ponder: when the time comes for these gigs to happen and you walk into the venue, handing your ticket to the agent to scan and then excitedly walking with purpose to your seat, sitting down and staring at the darkened stage with growing anticipation as you see that the clock ticks ever closer to the moment Simon walks out and begins singing “Paper Gods”, are you really going to even think twice about the ticket buying process to get there? Are you going to be thinking about how Ticketmaster asked you to re-enter the CAPTCHA code four times before it worked? When the band starts playing Planet Earth, Rio or Pressure Off, are you going to let any of that enter your mind?

That, my friends, is why Ticketmaster stays in business.

-R

Duran Duran Paper God 2016 Presales

There is no way for me to put this lightly: I really hate pre-sale days, particularly when they begin (for me) before it is light outside. I got my coffee, sat down and prepared to do battle.

To be honest, I am still trying to absorb what happened to me this morning…and I’m trying not to be angry with the ticketing system, and be thankful that unlike many I have seen on Twitter and Facebook today, I do have tickets. I am seeing the band come July.

I hope they’ll be ready.  <wink>

I read a lot of comments and responses this morning. As always, the responses run the spectrum from elation, “I got front row to Philly!” all the way to comments from people who seem to have lost not just a battle, but an entire war. “Pre-sales were a DISASTER“.  Or even better, “@DailyDuranie it’s bad business for a band to piss off fan club members. 6 shows, 3 with not a single tix pulling up, other 3 shit seats

My own experiences ran raggedly like a dog, from one end to the other of the entire spectrum. One show we ended up with nothing because the seats we pulled for Bronze seemed more like regular seats from back in the 17th row. Why pay VIP on top of that? It didn’t make sense to me…and definitely not to our head purchaser for that show, Amanda. We’ll try again later for those. We bought the 16th row seats offered for another out of sheer desperation after having a set of third row seats in my cart that I was in the middle of paying for when a window popped up on Ticketmaster informing me that my tickets were now unavailable. WTF?!? Fine. I didn’t need those Gold VIP tickets on my credit card anyway! Bronze it is, even though I am not sure I feel good about spending so much on tickets so far back. After falling to the ground in defeat, tired and breathless….Amanda and I got up, shook the dust off, tended to some gaping wounds, and went back in for another round with a brand new strategy that is going to involve selling kidneys (anyone need a slightly used one?? Let me know).

Our next battle proved every bit as nasty as the first, but I soon realized that I didn’t even need to bother going in and logging into my DDM account to get to the Ticketmaster pre-sales. I just needed to know the pre-sale password. Fabulous, except that meant that everyone else on the planet who knew that password could do the same. That fan letter was shared about a zillion times online, any scalper worth their salt could get in with ease, and Ticketmaster did not hold up their end of the agreement by not bothering to uphold the DDM firewall. Some say it didn’t work, but it did for me each time I bought tickets during this particular pre-sale at 10am my time.  What a mess. Amanda had tickets in her cart only to have them suddenly removed. (and I read this many more times over the course of the morning on Twitter) We bought gold at one show only to end up in 6th row, but we did have success at our final show, where we ended up with 2nd row center. I am not complaining about those results.

I know this shattered feeling…trampled but still breathing….

Thankfully pre-sales were over and I could live to see another day. But then I realized I still had to blog today.  Really?!?  Shattered doesn’t even begin to describe my exhaustion right now, and I still have a college tour to take this afternoon with my son!!  (Going from fan back to mom in less than an hour…)

I’d be very interested to read what types of experiences others had this morning, keeping in mind that this is purely about the process.  I have no doubts that despite the mess with ticket buying, once we are at the show it will be a great time. The band delivers on their end. It’s the rest of the insanity I am interested in reading. Share your tales of the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’ll compile them into something readable tomorrow!

-R

The Daily Duranie Message Board

Today is a big day for Daily Duranie.  Why, you ask? Well, Amanda and I decided to finally jump into creating a community with both feet…and have created the Daily Duranie message board!

The idea of creating a community wasn’t something that came across our minds as we began the blog. We’ve said numerous times that our “Grand Plan”, was just to write and see where it took us. We recognized that we found a lot of fault with Duran Duran Music – the paid fan community, but we weren’t really offering much in the way of solutions. So, over time we’ve offered some solutions (Such as hiring the two of us to run it – and we’re still 100% serious about that idea!), but we’ve also tried to pave our own trail and offer the community a “place.” It seems only fitting that we add a message board to that mix.

Facebook is a fantastic place. There are many Duranies from all over the world, tons of groups to join, pages to follow (like Daily Duranie!), and people to connect with.  What Amanda and I have found with Facebook is that there IS no central place for Duran Duran to really chat without a post being lost amongst many other posts. Diehards get lost in the shuffle, and that sense of community that Amanda and I feel is so important, tends to be watered down by what feels like hundreds of comments like, “Oh wow, they’re still around!  I haven’t seen them since 1985!”  There is absolutely a place for those fans in Duranland – it’s just not necessarily the same place that long time, diehard fans wish to be all the time, and that’s OK. Twitter works similarly – it’s a great place to come and openly share short bursts of thought. However, it too has limitations. You can’t really get into a long discussion with others quite as easily, and it can be difficult to follow.

Message boards can work to help in that situation.  We think our message board will be a good place for fans to call home because on one hand, in-depth discussions can be had without someone asking where Andy has gone; but pictures can also be posted and properly “admired”…and let’s face it, we can laugh at some of the funnier things the band does, too. There’s room for everyone, whether you’re a diehard Duranie “lifer” or someone who is rather new to the idea of traveling to see the band and spending your extra time reading a daily blog on Duran Duran.

Yes, many a message board has come and gone. Some might even say that the time has passed. Oddly (and this was definitely not planned), on this day four years ago – the message board that Amanda and I called “home” was put to rest. Traffic had all but died out there, Facebook and Twitter being a little more of an attraction for many, I suppose.  Perhaps for some, that still may be true. Rest assured, we are not expecting this one board to be the answer for all. It’s one piece of a much larger puzzle, or an added benefit of Daily Duranie. We’re looking forward to the party – and the bonus with the message board is that it’s always going to be there, 24/7 – for anyone who wishes to join in the fun. Otherwise, it’s gonna be me and Amanda trading posts, and we’re 100% totally OK with that!

Our Daily Duranie message board is a kind of Duran Duran themed hideaway – fans can go there, chat about the band (and other things) to their heart’s content, with little outside notice or influence. One doesn’t need to worry about their mom stumbling into a thread talking about John Taylor, for instance (because similar things have happened to me, for instance!)…and if you want a little more separation from your real life and your fandom life, you can have that on a message board. Additionally, this message board is a great place to plan meet-up parties, announce and plan touring information…and even plan the next convention for 2017!

I’m very excited to announce that the Daily Duranie Message Board is open for business as of this morning. A link to the board can be found on our home page (message board – pretty self-explanatory, no?). I’ve created the initial framework, and I think the basic “house” is complete – but we need all of YOU to make it a real home. Please come and join in the housewarming party!!  All are welcome, and I sincerely hope we see many, if not all of you on there!!

-R

Leather Pants! Sparkly Jackets! Backstage at the Hollywood Bowl!

By Janet McCabe

I was fortunate enough to snag a Platinum package for DD’s historic show at the Hollywood Bowl through the fan club pre-sale. I say “fortunate” because, subsequently, I met many fellow Duranies at the pre-show reception who had tried and failed to get the Platinum package!  (Ed note: Fun Fact – Amanda and Rhonda were two more of those people!!) The most exciting thing about the package — apart from the front-row seat — was the backstage tour. Since I was also lucky enough to be sitting right in front of Daily Duranies Rhonda and Amanda during the show, I promised to do a write-up of the backstage tour for Daily Duranie!!

I didn’t really know what to expect from the backstage tour, but I have to say that the communication prior to the event was handled very well. DDVIP sent very detailed instructions that were very helpful. Here are a couple relevant excerpts from the email that was sent to Platinum package purchasers!!

Greetings from Duran Duran Headquarters!

Thank you so much for purchasing a PLATINUM package to the band’s show at the legendary Hollywood Bowl on October 1st. We look forward to seeing you for the backstage tour and VIP pre-show reception! You will check in at the table in front of the Museum Garden. … Please arrive to check in between 5:15pm and 5:30pm SHARP. If you are not there at 5:30pm you can still enjoy the reception but will miss the backstage tour.

Feel free to text if you have any URGENT issues. Please include your first and last name in your message. Please ONLY use her number the day of the show.

A few important notes:! !

– There is NO meet and greet associated with the reception or backstage tour and the band will not be in attendance!

– Please stay with the group and if you see a performer backstage do NOT approach them unless the concierge has introduced you to them!

– If you stray from the group backstage you will be removed from the venue and not issued a refund (so please do not try to wander into dressing rooms etc). Please stay with the tour. ! !

Armed with this information, I set out from my Beverly Hills hotel around 4:30, expecting to arrive at the Bowl around 5:15, based on what the locals had told me about travel time. Note to self: do not believe the locals about travel time!!

(Rhonda’s note: actually a REAL local will always tell you that if you are in the LA/Hollywood area on any given day, at any given time, with the possible exception of like 3-3:45am,  you can expect a drive of at least an hour, no matter whether you’re going down the block, or five miles away… or even out of the city completely. Our traffic is horrendous here. Just saying.  – a Los Angeles Native)

It was only due to my cab driver’s miraculous (reckless?) driving, including a U-turn in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard, that I made it to the Bowl in time to take the tour. Truth be told I was a few minutes early, but terrified that I’d miss the tour, I actually resorted to texting the concierge for the event. Let’s call her “A.” I texted A and told her my situation. She was very friendly and understanding. She didn’t say they’d wait if I was late, but as I chewed on my nails,consulting Google Maps every few seconds to see how far I was from the Bowl (in case I needed to leave the cab and run for it), she joked with me by text about how I was getting closer and how I had better tip the cabbie well (I did).

After checking in at the VIP table, I waited for a few minutes, and then A and her partner-in-crime for the tour — we’ll call him “L” — gathered us up to begin the tour. There were about six of us on the tour, and I got the impression that a couple of people didn’t show (they’re probably still sitting in traffic). The group was much smaller than I expected, but it explains why it was so hard to get a Platinum seat! At this point, A and L introduced themselves. They have both worked with the Duran organization for some time, and while they didn’t give us their formal titles, it seems that they are part of a logistics team that coordinates between front office, back office and fans. And, apparently, that includes giving tours. L did most of the talking and, as we were led away from the meeting table through various security checkpoints, he explained that we would be able to take pictures on some parts of the tour and not on others.

The first thing we saw was the backlot, where the tour buses and the trucks that carry the stage and musical equipment park. We did not get to go on any tour busses. Then we were led inside to the area where the performers’ dressing rooms are. This is where that line from the email came into my head: “if you see a performer backstage do NOT approach them unless the concierge has introduced you to them.” It was going to be hard to restrain myself should we run into one of the members of Duran Duran. I’ll end the suspense now and tell you that we didn’t see them. 🙁

The first thing we saw was the warm-up room where John and Roger warm up. In it was a stripped down drum kit, a bass and a small amp, so Rog and John can get their groove on pre show.

Roger's practice set

John's practice bass

Across the hall from that room was the dressing room for “female performers,” presumably Anna Ross, Jessie Warner, and the ladies from Chic and Clean Bandit. I don’t remember seeing any dressing rooms with “stars” and specific names on them (because I definitely would have taken pictures had I seen that).

Farther down the hall was the my favorite part of the tour: the wardrobe room. L and A brought us into the room and introduced us to Jeffrey, the band’s wardrobe manager. Jeffery was very welcoming and friendly, telling us all kinds of interesting things. Here are some of the tidbits I remember:

• Each of the guys has an array of pieces in the room from which they can pick and Jeffrey doesn’t know what they’ll pick from show to show.

Nick's clothing rack

shoes\

IMG_4580

 

• Jeffrey predicted that Simon might wear his black, sequined tuxedo jacket since the show was so special (hello, it’s the Hollywood Bowl!). The tuxedo jacket is an Yves Saint Laurent, and Jeffrey says that the band have acquired a fondness for his pieces lately.

Simon's tuxedo jacket

Simon's Jacket (2)

• As we all know now, that prediction turned out not to be accurate, as Simon wore a black and white motorcycle jacket. The black and white leather jacket that Simon wore for the show was made by Jeffrey. If memory serves, it’s a knock off of another jacket but made from slightly lighter materials so it’s not so warm under stage lights.

Simon's Moto Jacket

Simon's clothes

More shoes

skull pants

Jeffrey was very gracious and allowed us to take pictures and, yes, to touch some of the pieces. I could have stayed in that room all night, but we were off to our next stop, which was down the hall and down the path that the performers take from dressing room to stage.

We were escorted to the stage entrance area and allowed to walk right up to the edge of stage right, but not to walk out on stage, especially since there were already folks in the seats, waiting for the show to start.

When we returned from the edge of the stage, L and A introduced us to several other members of the Duran management and touring team, including Wendy Laister (a name many of you probably recognize – she’s Duran Duran’s manager) and Orla, their tour manager. Wendy, Orla and a few other folks were huddled a small room that appeared to be the nerve center for the operation, and Orla took a few moments out of a very busy time to chat with us.

In fact, Orla said that she and the team had been at the Bowl since 6 or 7 a.m. that morning (it was 6 p.m. by this time). She talked to us about the demands and the intricacies of managing the tour and mentioned that there were several different sets of stage equipment. While one was being set up and then broken down at the Hollywood Bowl, another was on its way to the next gig and, once the Hollywood Bowl set was broken down, it would be off to another future show. It reminded me of what it must be like to be an air traffic controller — managing hundreds of small details, all in real-time.

She also talked to us about how the sound is monitored and how the mix in the guys’ earphones is achieved, each customized to ensure they hear what they need to hear in order to keep in time and tune.

After we said goodbye to Orla, we headed back outside. As we headed back out past the loading bays and the trucks, back toward the public areas, we did spot one Mr. Nile Rogers sitting outside in a chair, chatting with another fellow who was working the show. While I’m sure we all wanted to call out to Nile and/or run up to him, we didn’t. His head was turned, and he was engrossed in conversation, but I think if he had seen us, he probably would have come over to say hello, based on his graciousness in dealing with fans (signing autographs, posing for selfies, etc.) before and after the Chic set.

As we walked out, I was chatting with A and told her that I enjoyed the tour and that I was really impressed with the way that the pre-sale and the arrangements for the tour had been handled by Duran’s management and Crowdsurge, in contrast to some of the experiences with past companies. She was pleased to hear it and said they are always looking for ways to make the fan experience better and special.

Perhaps most impressive, apart from getting to fondle Simon’s sparkly leather pants (not while he was in them, sadly), was the hospitality and warmth that everyone we encountered on the tour displayed toward us. L and A really were great ambassadors for the band, and even during a very busy time, all of the team members we encountered seemed genuinely happy that we were there, entertained our questions and thanked us for being there.

All in all, it was a great experience, and I hope everyone who wants a Platinum Package is able to receive one, should Duran offer it as part of the 2016 tour packages. See you all in 2016!

 

Janet McCabe Janet has been a Duranie since 1982 when she was in high school (no fair guessing her age). She lives in St. Petersburg, FL, is a Corporate Communications exec for a global bank, and enjoys documentary film and kayaking/snorkeling in her spare time. A lifelong Simon fan, she had the great pleasure of meeting him (as well as Dom and Roger) at a pub after a show in Chicago in 2011. At last count, Janet has seen the band about 15 times — traveling as far as Milan, LA and Chicago — and has plans to see as many shows in 2016, both foreign and domestic, as her work schedule and financial advisor will allow.

Top Ten Duran Duran Presale Anxieties

In honor of today’s Duran Duran presale festivities, Amanda and I decided to put together our own “Top Ten” list of Duran Duran presale anxieties. I mean, who doesn’t have that dream where you wake up at 10:30am on the day that presales begin at 10:00?  Perhaps as you read on, you’ll recognize a few…

TEN!

alarm-clock-
You sleep through the presale!!

It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for since 2012. You’ve made sure to reinstate your membership with DDM…you’ve printed out the appropriate seating charts, and you have a game plan. You go to sleep the night before, with visions of all sorts of worry in your head. The restful sleep you need evades you until finally, at 4:30 am you fall asleep. You wake up suddenly and realize that wow, the sun is streaming through your window oddly and glance at your alarm clock. You squint to focus…it says what? 10:19.  10:19!!!!  Presales begin at 10am!!! $#&!

NINE!

Rejected password
Because you know…when you chose these security questions it all seemed fine…

You’re at work and it’s 9:56. You meant to get to DDM earlier and login, but then five people called, your boss needed a copy of something he/she could have walked and found themselves, and you were called to the front desk to get a package you didn’t care about.  You glance at the clock and see you’ve got four minutes to spare. You begin to walk quickly down the hall, almost breaking out into a run. (but you don’t because well, you’re in heels…and you need to be able to stand up if you’re going to see the band, never mind that the show is six months from today, right?) You fly around the corner, you pull off your heels and dash down through the cubicles, leap into your chair and slide over to the computer. Quickly, you type in duranduranmusic.com, and go to login. Wait, what do you MEAN the password doesn’t work?!?  What third spouse?!? 

EIGHT!

The dreaded white screen of death
No. NO NO NO NOT NOW!!!!

You get to your computer. Logging in goes fine. It’s 9:58 and counting. You hit refresh because, well…it could begin at any time now, right? Refreshing goes fine until suddenly, it doesn’t.  You find yourself staring at….well, nothing. It’s a white damn screen.  It’s now 10:00.  NO!!!!!

SEVEN!

Time zone?
That awkward moment when you aren’t sure whether you’re ahead, behind, or just completely screwed.

You’ve decided you’re going to see Duran Duran, and you don’t really care that you’re having to travel from Canada to do it. You’ve got your DDM membership, you’re going VIP, dammit. Then you realize you have no idea what time it is in LA. For that matter, what time is it where YOU are? What time zone do I live in?!? These are all questions that plague Duranies during presales…heaven forbid you don’t know the right answer, otherwise you could miss out on a presale (and I’ve seen it happen!!!)

SIX!!

Site crash
That horrible moment when you’ve got front row in your cart and then…

So you manage to get up on time, find two spare minutes at work, log in without trouble, figure out what time zone you’re in…and you can even get in to buy tickets. You click “Buy VIP”, you see that gold is available, you select tickets…you’re already rejoicing over those front row spots, and then suddenly the screen goes dark and you smell smoke.  No &%^#$@! WAY!!!!!

FIVE!

The ONE time you need a connection...
The ONE time you need a connection…

You’ve never had trouble with the internet at work, until that ONE day you need to be online at a certain time in order to participate in this godforsaken presale. You sit down, ready to do battle and come out the victor. Everything seems to be fine as you type in duranduranmusic.com…then you realize that gee, it’s taking a long time for the site to load.  You refresh. Same deal.  Then others around the office stand up and peek over the top of their cubicles asking if anyone else is having trouble getting online. “Yeah”, the IT guy says, “we’ve been having trouble…we’re working on it.”  YOU’RE WORKING ON IT…you think to yourself. THIS IS AN EMERGENCY!  I NEED MY DURAN DURAN TICKETS!

FOUR!

credit card declined
Wait, didn’t I just PAY that bill?!?

You can’t even believe how easy the presale went. You’ve never logged in faster or gotten those fantastic seats into your cart so smoothly. All is well until you hit “pay” and almost immediately your card has been rejected. Is it because it’s an overseas sale? Is it because you’re buying tickets with a friend’s login? Is it because the bill was due last week and you actually paid on time for once, so your bank is convinced something is off?? Is it because your bank somehow thinks that spending just over $600 for two tickets at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley CA seems a bit fishy????

THREE!

I can't type!!
I can type with ridiculous accuracy until it comes time to enter my information for a presale. Then NOTHING works!!

I can type extremely fast…until a presale starts, then suddenly my hands shake uncontrollably and I can’t remember how to use my track pad on my Macbook properly. This morning, I was in charge of getting tickets for the Greek Theatre show. I see that yes, VIP is available. I click on Silver. Yes – I can actually have front row (At that point I was convinced I’d been transported to an alternate universe because that NEVER happens). My hands begin to shake. I have to type in Amanda’s address (because she is in charge of handling the tickets – and this is with good reason.) I can’t figure out how to make the drop down menu work, and why is it that every single time I go to change the address the screen jumps to the top of the page again? Why doesn’t my trackpad work??? I only have 4 minutes to complete payment???  HELP!!!  (I did get it all to work just fine, once I calmed down…)

TWO!

I need a barf bag
As the clock ticks ever closer to 10am…you feel as though you’re really and truly going to lose your lunch. Or breakfast as the case may be.

My main comment to friends this morning on Twitter was that I was nauseous. And I was. I think I even woke up feeling anxious and unwell this morning, and as every second inched closer to zero-hour, my stomach became more and more of my enemy.  If that weren’t enough, once I finally DID get through to the presale, I could feel myself start to get dizzy, I had to take several slow, deep breaths and I wondered why I hadn’t drank more water this morning. (I don’t know about the rest of you, but I get dizzy when I’m dehydrated. Note to self: DRINK MORE WATER AT THE SHOWS!)  I made it. Barely.

Without further adieu, the number ONE pre-sale anxiety…

Sold out!
Sold out?!? How can they be sold out – it’s STILL 10am!!!!

Let’s say for instance, you’re trying to get tickets to the Hollywood Bowl. You and your friend decide that yes, it’s worth the price for Platinum. You didn’t need that extra kidney anyway, right? Getting online is easy. You refresh without fail. It’s 9:59 by your clock and sure enough, you refresh just in time to hit “buy VIP”. You want platinum because well, it’s the Bowl, this is Duran Duran and Nile Rodgers will be there! ONCE IN A LIFETIME show, by far. You glance at the clock just as it changes to 10am…lo and behold, no Platinum available. Wait, no platinum? How can that be? It’s STILL 10am!  What, VIP tickets, go to the cocktail party, and screw the dream of a backstage tour.  We’re still going to the Bowl and we’re in second row!!!

But seriously…who actually came away with one of those Platinum tickets?!

Hope this was fun and gave some chuckles. I need to go lie down now.  This day has already been far, far too much for me!

-R

My Top Ten Fandom Moments

I thought this would be simple when I decided that this would be a good blog topic and one that would renew my Duranie spirit.  You see,  last week I said that I would share my top ten favorite fandom moments, which you could read about here.   Yet, it wasn’t that simple.  At times, I struggled to think of anything and, other times, I had a huge list pop into my head.  After thinking it over for a week, here is what I finally decided on.  I attempted to put this list in order with the biggest moment being last.  I doubt that I was successful, but I did try.  I will also say this.  I enjoyed doing this.  I want to see Rhonda’s Top 10 list.  I would also love to see our regular guest bloggers join in and any of our readers.  I think we could all use this right about now.

TOP TEN FANDOM MOMENTS:

10. Falling in love with the Reflex at the age of 8 in 1984
How could I not include when and why I became a Duranie?  After all, it started it all, right?  This song and video were on cThe Reflex Coveronstant rotation in the spring of 1984.  While my best friend, at the time, and I liked Duran Duran before, this song made us addicts.  We were so ridiculous that we would call each other each and every time we saw it or heard it!

 

9. John Taylor’s James Bond socks in 2006
John socksHow many of you were on DuranDuranMusic’s message boards in 2006?  If you were and are a John Taylor fan, then, you probably hung out on the thread entitled, “Church of the Bass God”.  Well, that year, the fans in that area of the board decided that we should send John Taylor socks for his birthday after he showed up wearing bright socks at the end of the Astronaut tour.  Many pairs of socks were sent, including a pair from me.  Pictures of John opening the box along with some of the socks made it back to the fans.  I was super excited to see John with the pair I had sent him!!!  Obviously, I sent James Bond socks!  That isn’t the end of the story, though.  Later, that year, at the Voodoo Music Festival, I held up a sign asking to see John’s socks.  While he looked confused as heck when he read it, he still lifted his leg.  Unfortunately, since he was right in front of me, all I saw was the bottom of his shoe!  Fast forward to December of 2007 when Duran did an in-store cd signing in Chicago.  When I got to John, I asked him about the socks.  He clearly remembered the story and knew that we also sent scarves the next year!  Very cool!

8. Walking around Birmingham in May of 2011
While my trip to the UK in the spring of 2011 did not go as planned because the shows got canceled, there was one important highlight.  This highlight happened the first full day in the UK and was wBirminghamhen Rhonda and I walked around Birmingham.  I had done some research about where key Duran related locations were.  We weren’t able to hit them all, but what we did see really helped us to see Duran Duran in a different light.  I felt like I understood the band in a different way, in a more thorough way than I did before.  It made them less celebrity and more human.

7. Seeing the band outside of their studio in May of 2011 when Simon lost his voice.  
This highlight is connected to the last one.  When we arrived in the UK in May of 2011, only the first 3 shows out of our scheduled 4 were canceled.  We held out hope that the London show might take place.  A friend of ours let us know where the band would be rehearsing.  How could we not go?  We were all the way over in the UK, right?  Of course, we would not get in their way.  In fact, we wouldn’t say anything unless they said something to us.  I just figured it might be the only way/place for us to see them.  When Simon arrived that day, he explained to the fans there, including us, that things were not looking good.  At that moment, I felt certain that this was it.  The end.  I didn’t say anything to anyone–not even to Rhonda.  I thought that if I said it, then it would be true.  I couldn’t handle that.  Yet, I had one comforting thought.  If it was the end, then, I saw something historic, something important.  I was there and we were able to give some support.  Thankfully, it wasn’t the end and Simon bounced back, stronger than ever!

6. Listening to All You Need Is Now for the first time in December of 2010
3b3ed-duranduran_all-you-need-is-nowIt is no secret that Rhonda and I weren’t wild about Red Carpet Massacre.  I was concerned that Duran might have lost their touch to make a complete, coherent album–one of quality and essential Duran elements.  Yet, they did just that with All You Need Is Now.  The album as an entire piece is fabulous.  I still think that.  It is one of the very best Duran albums ever.  When I heard this album, I knew that Duran would have a great tour and I had to do as much as I could to participate.  2011 was a pretty tough year for me (cat died, grandma died, work was awful, had to participate in protests to defend myself, my colleagues, my profession, my rights).  The only thing that kept me going was this album and the tour that followed.

5. The Chicago show in March of 2005
This was my first Duran show after the reunion.  Interestingly enough, I believed that this would be the first time to see the entire Fab Five together.  Andy couldn’t be there asIHOP his dad was very ill.  Thus, it was my first show with Dom Brown.  It was also the show that started most of my touring traditions that I still follow today, including touring with Rhonda.  What are some of those traditions?  Staying up really late, drinking all of the vodka in a city, eating at IHOP, laughing non-stop, keeping a list of quotes from the tour and more.  On top of all of that, it was a great show!

4. Hearing/Seeing Duran performance Secret Oktober live in Brighton in November 2011.
BrightonI’m sure that we have talked about this moment on the blog before.  Heck, we will probably talk about it again.  After having seen Secret Oktober appear on set lists in various cities in the Fall, we were constantly hoping to hear it as it is a favorite of ours.  When we got to the UK and to the show in Brighton, we were no longer focused on the setlist.  After having gone to the UK earlier in the year only to have no shows and having fear that we wouldn’t even make this one due to a public union strike, all that mattered to us was seeing the show.  Then, when those first notes began, I think our joy could no longer be sustained as we looked at each other and hugged.  Like goofs.  Then, we saw Nick look totally amused.  It was a moment that represents our victory by getting to see the band play in the UK.

3. John Taylor wearing the Daily Duranie wristband at his Chicago Book Signing in October of 2012.
Another moment that I have blogged about here previously.  This moment took place at John’s book signing in Chicago.  When I got to the table to get John to sign my book (and Rhonda’s!), I decided that I should give him a wristband, a wristband about this little blog.  After that, I walked away as my time was up and wasn’t going to think about it again.  I’m a dork so I had to walk past his table one more time in order to get my coat.  When I glanced John Wristbandover, what was he wearing?!  The wristband!!!  I couldn’t believe it!  I never would have thought that he would have put mine on.  After all, he was given a lot of stuff.  I just assumed that he would have put it to the side.  On days and moments that I allow myself a break from reality, I imagine that it means that he is supportive of the blog!

2. Creating this blog, finishing the draft of our book and successfully organizing Durandemonium in October 2013.
ARmanuscriptI don’t have much to say about this one.  I know that Rhonda and I are a bit weird in that we have taken our fandom beyond what most people do.  We weren’t content enough just enough to be fans.  We had and have to do more with it.

1. Meeting Rhonda at the 78-03 Friends of Mine:  Duran Duran Fans Convention in New Orleans in September 2004 and other friends then since then.
At the end, when the band ceases to create new music or play shows, this is what I will hold dear.  I will hold my fDurham drunkriendship(s) dear.  What will live on will be these memories and my friendships.  After all, really isn’t that what fandom is all about?  Using an interest to make long-lasting connections to others?  Absolutely.

I encourage each and every one of you to create your list and to send it to us as a guest blog!

-A

Daily Duranie Guest Blog – In Person at the Mazda Unveiling

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!

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 9.32.01 AM
View from the shuttle upon arrival

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.

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 9.30.44 AM
Melissa and I

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.

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 9.32.19 AM
Me at the taco bar (Photo cred: Steven Wayne)

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.

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Our happy bartender!

 

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.

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L-R: Tracey Bishop, me, Lisa Amaral, Steven Wayne

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.

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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!

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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.