Tag Archives: Duranie

Since when did being a fan become a bad thing: Crazy Some’d Say

I could probably just post this picture and be done with the blog for today, because it probably says everything (and much, much, more) than I’m about to say anyway.  I am consciously reminding myself that sometimes, the toughest blogs to write turn out to be the ones most needing to be read.

Yes, I went to some shows this weekend, and yes, I had a fantastic time. I am so grateful that I had the chance to go and be with friends.

So, while I was basking in the sheer glory of being up front, screaming for one of my favorite people on the planet, a friend took the photo.  I (OBVIOUSLY) had no idea it was being taken at the time. I’m not so sure I love my face, but I see the sheer joy. It’s kind of hard to miss, really.

I pride myself on being pretty low-key. (HA!) I have a great time at the shows, but I also recognize that the band are indeed real people. Being on stage is part of their job, in the same way that wrangling young children during recess and lunch is mine.  I don’t have children screaming for me at work (but I do have a few that are insistent about coming to visit me nearly every day for tummy aches or to apply band-aids to non-visible “injuries”).  In the same respect, once the show is over, I typically don’t bother the band. Yeah, I’ve ended up at the same bar once or twice, but other than that – I expect them to resume their normal lives. My students don’t come to my house and wait out front for me, and I try to be the same way with the band. I get it. It’s a job.

Since Dom is the lucky guy in this photo (which btw was taken by my friend Suzie at the “breast show ever”….just go with it and don’t ask…), he’s part of the example here.  As much as I love this photo, I also struggle with it. I tweeted it out, but stopped short of tweeting it directly to Dom. I wanted to share it with him because it’s both hilarious and really kind of sweet at the same time, but I just couldn’t.  Why?

On one hand, if you really need an explanation of fandom, it is all right there in that shot. I suppose that yeah, you could look at that photo and see all the craziness you want.  Context is important here, because at the time Dom was playing the guitar solo for White Lines, and he knows that I love that song live.  I smiled at him when he started it, and he came right over to me, and this picture was taken just before he bent down to play.  He does an excellent job, and I was screaming for him. I’m proud of his work, and I’m not shy about that.  I was also in the front, and I was thrilled to be there.  I had so much love and joy flowing through me in that moment, and this picture captured all of that.

On the other hand, and this is the part I have a rough time with – I almost hate using the word “fan” because it immediately puts me on the crazy train.  Since when did the word “fan” make me so damn self-conscious?  Here I am, writing a fan blog, and I’m worried about someone thinking I’m a fan?

There are so many different directions I can take this post from here. The path that seems most relevant is simply to say that we fans, collectively speaking, have been equated with the word “crazy” for so long now, that at times it is painful to admit that I am, indeed, a fan. I’ve been a Duran Duran fan since I was ten. I don’t remember life much before being a fan. Yet everywhere I go, particularly when at shows, all I hear is the word, “crazy”.

“You’re still one of those crazy Duran Duran fans? How old are you again?

“You’re a woman out on the town going to a show without your husband?  You’re just crazy to get into Simon’s pants, right?” 

“You crazy Duran fans…we know all about you guys!” 

If that’s not enough, we even admonish one another while we’re at the shows!

“Don’t rush the stage, the guards will think you’re crazy!” 

“I don’t want to go up and try to say hi, because if I do, he’s going to just think I’m some crazy fan.”  (In this case, this fan was ME, and I was specifically talking about going up to say hi to Dom in the hallway. Even though he saw me clear across the hallway and smiled – I was still concerned about how it would look if I got up from my chair at the bar and walked over there. I knew he was trying to just get up to his room and I didn’t want to bug him. For the record, I did finally get up the nerve to walk up and say hi, and I don’t think he believes I’m crazy. Imagine that!)

“Look at those fans fighting over the set lists. They’re crazy!” 

The word surrounds us and it is never-ending.  Even I’m starting to buy into the hype. Since when did being a fan become a bad thing?? Pictures don’t lie – when I look at that picture of Dom, the girl at the bottom is a FAN. That girl is me, yet it’s the last thing I want to be known for. It’s silly because of course I’m more than a fan. I’m Rhonda. I write. I am smart. I play a couple of instruments. I have three amazing kids. My life is pretty damn full, and I have feelings. I refuse to be just another face in the crowd.  When I get up the nerve to walk up and say hi to a band member (or anybody for that matter) in a hallway and even get a hug, the last thing I want for that person to think is that I’m just another crazy fan who won’t let them go up to their room. Yet, in the back of my mind – that is always my worry.

This blog aside, of course. Because yeah, it IS pretty crazy that I’ve written a fan blog for 78 months now. (That’s six and a half years for those of us who don’t love math.)  Someday I’m going to switch the name of this to Daily Duranie Rehab and we can call it group therapy!

The relationship we have with our idols and other people we care about is complicated at best. (I have a tough time calling Dom my idol, I have to be honest. I didn’t grow up with him on my posters, or worshipping the ground he walked on in the same way I did the rest of the band. It isn’t the same.) Impossible at worst. Not everyone gets to have their moment, even fewer become true friends, but somehow – those of us who have been around awhile get called “crazy”, and it’s unfortunately a term that has wrapped itself around my core.  Sure, we can say we don’t care what other people think, but what about what WE think about ourselves?

Food for thought.

-R

 

When the lights of hope are fading quickly

Yesterday was Thanksgiving at my house. Actually, that was the second time we celebrated—on Sunday, we were at my sister-in-law’s home with her side of the family. We’re celebrating early because we’re going to Paso Robles for the weekend, and I’m excited because all three of the kids are going with us.  Sunday was lovely, but my oldest, Heather, had told us she wouldn’t be there. She was on campus, working backstage as part of the crew for a show. It is part of the requirements for her major and requires a lot of time, including striking the stage, which was happening that night. We’d agreed as a family to then have our Thanksgiving yesterday when Heather could be at home.

We had just finished our meal on Sunday and were talking with family when the doorbell to my sister-in-law’s home rang, and someone shouted out “It’s Heather!” I was in the living room and heard the commotion at the door, and thought to myself, “Who’s Heather?!” Then I saw the long brown hair and knew.  She’d gotten off much earlier than expected and came as a surprise. It’s ridiculous really, because Heather lives just a half hour from me and I have seen her, although since the beginning of October she hasn’t been able to come home and stay, but I was still overjoyed.

I’m finding that more and more often, I cannot get all three of my kids, my husband and myself into the same room for any length of time. There are too many independent parts, so invariably it ends up being my husband and I with one or two of the kids. One is always not available, and this is likely not to improve any time soon with our next one getting ready to graduate from high school. I treasure the very few moments I get, and there is something incredibly special when all three of my kids are together here.  I used to find fault with my mom when she’d complain how she never saw my sister or myself—I get it now.  Something that was at one point commonplace or expected (and sometimes even dreaded – imagine that at one point, we’d divide up the kids between Walt and I so that it wasn’t quite so crazy!) is now something I yearn for.  (we will see if I still feel that way Sunday night!)

Lately, I feel that way about Duran Duran, too. I wrote the blog, went to a lot of shows, and while they were all fun, I’m not sure I actually appreciated them. I mean, of course I loved seeing the band play, or hearing new music or seeing a new video.  The only way I can explain myself, is to say that at some point, I stopped really listening for enjoyment. Weird words to use, maybe, but they’re truthful.  I can remember back to when I saw Duran Duran in Costa Mesa in 2003, or several weeks later when I saw them at 4th and B in downtown San Diego. I was so excited at the mere thought of being in the same breathing space that I couldn’t sleep the night before.  I listened to their albums here at home, in the car, whenever I could.  I think my mind would be on them (leading up to a show) so much that I’d dream about running into them somewhere crazy, like at a gas station!

Somewhere along the line though, that stopped. It is similar to when I bought annual passes to Disneyland when my kids were little (and the passes weren’t so darn expensive!).  It was great at first, but it got to a point when Walt and I would tell Gavin and Heather that we were going to the park for the day and they’d complain.  (Yes, complain. I mean, who wants to go to Disneyland when you can stay at home and play video games, right??) That was the last year we bought passes, I might add.

Don’t get me wrong, I never complained about seeing the band. That would be monumentally stupid since I was the one buying the tickets! Nobody forced me to go, and I always had a blast. I just think the idea of going to show after show lost a little of that magic, and I did it to myself, really.  I started comparing venue to venue or being more annoyed by the silly, trivial things about going to shows. I stopped listening to Duran Duran in the car.  I certainly never listened to them here at home. I didn’t watch their videos very much, or if I did – it was solely for blogging or researching.

In a sentence: it stopped being fun.

I felt it happen. I think a lot of you probably saw it happen through my writing. Instead of being fun, it felt like a job. That isn’t how this is supposed to work. I didn’t know how to turn it all around, until I had no other choice.

You see, as so many have rightfully pointed out to me, touring is expensive. I’ve recently had to get real and cut back on my expenses. I stopped writing and rewriting a manuscript Amanda and I had been working on because the last one that seemed like it had a good shot was rejected. After putting so much hard work into it, I had to stop. My brain was tired and I was emotionally SPENT. I wasn’t even sure I could keep writing this blog. Then I got a job, and little by little – I was forced to put the blog and even my love for Duran Duran on the back-burner.  I’ve been feeling this way since August for sure, but if I really think about it, I think I’ve probably had these sorts of feelings since before Paper Gods was released.

 

Yesterday, I blogged about Notorious.  As I was writing, I realized that  I probably hadn’t listened to that album in years. Not the whole thing, and definitely not just for pleasure. I put it on. I finished blogging, and then set the table for Thanksgiving. I found myself singing along, not really deeply listening for every single guitar chord or synthesizer track – but just enjoying the music. I really enjoyed it.  Two nights ago, I woke up after having a dream.  I’d run into Simon somewhere and he took down my name because one of my shows had been canceled and he was going to help me out. (clearly a dream, right?) I haven’t had a dream about Duran Duran…or really ANY dream….in many months. Most importantly, I’m thinking about blogging again. Thinking about what I want to write.

No, I’m not planning to see the band live any time soon, unless they come to the west coast again…but I feel like I’m enjoying being a fan again, and I’ll take that over a show any day. I suspect the next time I do see them, I’ll be far more appreciative. That isn’t about being Daily Duranie, or blogging, or trying to write a manuscript. It’s about just being me. A fan.

-R

 

Is This How We Stay Connected? The Joy of Social Media

I am thinking about quitting social media.

I remember back in the day, not so long ago when I would venture online and gleefully connect with others. I found friends I lost track of, discovered brand new friends, and even found a line of nearly direct communication with a band I’ve loved since childhood. What wasn’t to like?

It gave me great joy to chat with so many people. I still love hearing from friends I’ve known since childhood. I got back in touch with people from my old high school marching band, and there are even pictures of me from grade school floating around somewhere.  I found some of my sorority sisters, and had the chance to make things right with one of them before she died tragically in a car accident a few years back.  Social media made that happen and it still gives me a sense of peace, happiness and light knowing that Laurie knew how much I loved her before she died.

I found message boards, then MySpace and eventually Facebook and Twitter. Fans flooded the various platforms, and I rode the tide as long as possible.  I saw the band, or at least members thereof, embrace social media, and then make a hasty retreat back to the sanctity of private life.  I’ve watched fans clamor for attention, beg for retweets, offer love, respect, and admiration, often (but not always) tinged with a little lust in return.

While the band recorded new albums, I read any article I could grab, and inhaled the gossip. I poured over every last possible Katy Kafe,  gleaning whatever I could. I read interview after interview, retaining as much as possible. I debated other fans, and was taken to task more than once over things I’d written and/or posted.

I remember what it was like to be a Duranie in the mid-80s. I didn’t really worry about what was coming next. I enjoyed each album, played it until the grooves wore out (after all, we’re talking days of vinyl!).  I watched videos until my VCR would eat the tape!  Then, out of nowhere—a new song would suddenly pour out of the speakers of my radio. My heart would flood with pure joy. I didn’t think about what producer the band used, or worried about who was playing guitar. I didn’t think about meeting the band because they were untouchable. There was no such thing as Twitter, so being retweeted was impossible! I didn’t need to compete for attention from a band that was unreachable. The bliss of being a fan in the 80s.

These days, the band really isn’t online much if at all. I avoid saying a lot of what I think or feel. I don’t tell jokes about the band, because to say a single disparaging word, even in jest, is asking for trouble. My friends from high school have grown tired of the political nonsense on Facebook, as have I. My sorority sisters have moved on. Our lives are very different from they were in college thirty years ago. It was great finding them again, but we’ve run out of things to talk about. I don’t check every Duran Duran set list posted. I want something left to chance, to surprise.

Can I still balance joy to annoyance when it comes to social media?  Is it worth my time to try? Why doesn’t the band bother?? That said, privacy is golden. Where is the line of trust? Does one exist? Do I really need to know that so-and-so fervently believes the band doesn’t need a guitar player because the one they have for touring is terrible, or that Jane Doe knows that “it’s serious” that Nick isn’t on tour?  For every single thing posted, there are 50,000 opinions, and I’m talking purely about Duran Duran. Was I better off in the bliss of not knowing a single thing about the band until they did an interview?

I suppose, as I mull the possibilities, the real question is joy.  Where do I find joy? How do I keep it…and how do I ignore the rest of it?  There’s a lot of BS out there.  The “truth” is often a tangled mess. With all of the information overload available, I enjoy the moments where I’m present. While away from home, I stopped paying attention to the never-changing set list posts from the shows. Reviews were put aside until I got home. I just enjoyed being at the shows. I forced myself to stop comparing each one (not an easy task and I definitely found myself failing from time to time!), and just spent my time ENJOYING them.  Living in the moment, particularly in the shadow of social media, isn’t easy.

For obvious reasons, I can’t just quit social media. For one, this blog depends upon that interaction. Instead, I find myself working to keep social media in its place. Nothing matters more than face-to-face interaction. On the same token, many of my friends do not live next door to me. In fact, none of them live anywhere near me. I get great joy from engaging with those people.

Instead of gulping down every single last tweet or Facebook post, I am learning to be far more discerning with my time. I don’t respond unless I have the interest to do so, and I’m finding many times—I just don’t. There’s no need to argue about guitarists, or bother explaining why I feel one way or another about a particular song. I am not sure that I really need to worry about what is going to happen tomorrow, because I’m really just trying to enjoy today. I’m going to do more of that, too.

-R

 

 

Something more than dreams

On a day where precious little seems to be happening in the land of Duran, I’m lucky to have stumbled upon a news item worthy of discussion.

There is an article being circulated by a few news pages on Facebook  about a man who wrote his daughter an excuse for being late to school. Here’s the note:

excuse for school

Now, I realize that in the note he’s comparing Bruce Springsteen to God. I also recognize that for many readers, this is not a realistic, or even possible comparison, regardless of the reason. I’ll leave you all to debate that particular comparison or topic amongst yourselves, on your own forms of social media.

Instead, it had me remembering the time I took my own daughter out of school to go meet Duran Duran in Hollywood. At the time, Heather was eight, and she was in third grade. I should also mention this was at the signing for Astronaut, which came out in 2004. I’ve written about meeting the band, but I don’t know how much I actually said about just being with Heather for the experience. (I may have written some along the way, so I apologize if you’re reading and thinking, “Get over it, Rhonda. Who cares?!?” For the rest of you, this is new!) Not only was it Heather’s first time meeting Duran Duran, but it was mine too…and it was the only time either of us met them as a full group.

There are moments that happen in life when only later while reflecting do you begin to recognize their significance. That night is one of those times for me. During this particular period in 2004, Heather was getting heavily involved in dance. It was a huge commitment for everyone because I could never go anywhere without considering who would get her to the studio and back home at night. In addition to the time commitment, I felt like I was really losing my daughter in a lot of ways. Rather than spending quality time with me, she was being taught by circumstance to consider the studio her home, dance teachers and classmates her family. I missed her, but I recognized that dance was her passion, even at the tender age of eight. In the meantime, I’d planned a Duran Duran fan convention in New Orleans, met new friends, got involved online, and basically branched out on my own, trying to find and get reacquainted with the person I was prior to being “mommy”.

Along came the announcement of the signing. I wavered quite a bit before making the decision to go. Hollywood is a trek from my house (I almost never drive up there because I hate the traffic), it was during the middle of the week – twice – once to buy the album and get the wristband, another trip to actually meet the band for the signing, and I knew that trying to make the schedule work in between all of the other responsibilities I had was going to be impossible.

As always, I hesitantly tested the waters with my husband. Back then, I was afraid to tell him about events with the band because I knew he didn’t get it, and I knew it would just cause problems. I hate to say it, but I was a pretty wimpy wife back then. I figured I’d mention it at dinner, get the proverbial eye-roll and look of disgust, and then let it go. So I remember very uncertainly commenting about it – just an offhanded, “So, Duran Duran is doing an album signing in Hollywood, can you believe that?” sort of thing. Back then we had a small round table we ate at in my kitchen, and I remember Heather getting so excited. She was overjoyed that mommy would finally get to meet Duran Duran. In her head, there wasn’t even a question whether I’d go, or whether I’d really get to meet them. I was really kind of surprised that she understood the significance at her age, but for whatever reason, she did. She really seemed to understand that for me, this was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing, and that I’d waited since I was ten. That kind of made Walt take notice when otherwise, I don’t think he would have spent two seconds even listening. Fandom of any kind isn’t his thing, so I didn’t have any grand designs about having any sort of understanding from him about meeting Duran Duran. Going to meet a band probably seemed like a gigantic waste of time to him. Heather spoke so animatedly about it, saying that she wanted to go with me and how much fun it would be. Walt looked at me and said, “Why don’t you go then?” I am pretty sure my jaw hit the table.

Of course, I knew plenty of reasons why I shouldn’t. Dance classes. School for Heather. Driving up and back. What would I do with “the baby”? (“the baby” at that time was my son…who is now 16, about 5’10” and towers over me….and I don’t even remember now what I did with him that afternoon!!) After a little thinking, and pinching myself that I might actually get to meet Duran Duran, it was decided that Heather would only need miss one morning of school and…miss dance class to go to the signing. (Just to drive this point home: Heather never missed dance class. Not while sick, not while injured, not when friends had birthday parties, or for family functions. Never.)

So we went. It was one of the best experiences ever, and not just because I got to speak to Roger Taylor and tell him that he was my favorite band member and that I was so glad he came back. (Yes, I really did say those words. At least I didn’t tell him that I spent a good part of my days back when I was 12 waiting for him to show up on my doorstep realizing that I was the girl for him. I did have some good sense.) As exciting as it was to be so close to the band that I could tell Simon had seen the inside of a tanning booth at some point and that yes, Nick’s skin really was absolutely flawless…the best part was being there with Heather, and watching her see MY reaction.

How many times do we really get that chance to share something from our own childhood with our children? I don’t mean just taking them to Disneyland or whatever amusement park you spent time as – I mean a real passion. Something that truly defined you, or made you who you really are underneath all of that “Mom” stuff? For me, Duran Duran is very much that “thing”. (I laugh ruefully here, because little did I know in 2004 just how much Duran Duran was about to play part in my life. Little did I know….) I kept sneaking glances at Heather as she looked around at all of the people we were waiting in line with, and watching her reactions as we’d talk about the band. There was no filtering my love (or anyone else’s) or exuberance for the band. She was experiencing my fandom exactly the way I would have shown it even if she hadn’t been there. She saw the good, the bad, and maybe even a bit of the ugly.  But the best part for me was that it was something we experienced together.

I shared a part of my deepest, and sometimes darkest, inner me with my daughter. And as a result, Heather has never once…not even a little…ever made fun of this blog or what it has become. Let’s face it, the blog is a pretty easy target. Upon first glance, one might think it’s a cute little love note, or marginalize it to just being a serious symptom of being a fanatic. Two grown women, writing a blog about a band?!? The jokes almost write themselves. I know this, and Amanda knows this. My family (mostly) thinks Daily Duranie is a waste of time, no matter what I share with them about our traffic or the sheer amount of people who thank us or recognize Amanda and I when we’re together at a Duran show. I’ve learned to keep the blog to myself and not share with the family, or if I do share – I just make light of it, because it’s easier than hoping for respect I’ll never get. Not Heather. For whatever reason, and I tend to think it’s because I shared a little bit of what makes me “tick” with her that night, she’s never once made fun. She encourages me, tells me to follow my heart, and does exactly for me as I do for her when it comes to her dreams.

I don’t remember what I wrote on the note I gave to the school for her excuse. I’m pretty sure I didn’t say anything about standing in line for hours to get a wristband to see Duran Duran, though. I wish I had, because I think she learned as much about me that night as I did about her.

-R

Counting the Hours ‘Til the Dawn

The Duranie part of me has felt pretty weak lately.  I haven’t been feeling very Duranie like.  Is it because I have been working ten to twelve hour days, which doesn’t allow for a lot of fandom expression or focus?  I’m sure that could be part of it.  Could it be because we haven’t really seen or heard that much from the band for a LONG, LONG time?  (Don’t criticize the messenger here, people, but it has been more than 2 years since the last real tour and more than 3 years since we had new music.)  I find myself struggling to remember, at times, what the big deal is with Duran Duran or with me being a Duranie.  Then, I thought…if I am feeling that way for whatever reason, am I the only one?  (Again, don’t criticize here, people.  You can’t be critical of emotion/feeling.  I’m not liking how I have been feeling but it is what it is.  Plus, stick with me.  I promise that it will be worth it.)  I can’t be the only one, right?  My goodness, each and every day I do something related to Duran Duran and, yet, I’m still not feeling it that much.  What would cure this illness?!  Well, I’m sure a good show or performance might do the trick but I can’t just snap my fingers and make that happen for myself.  I’m also sure that if DDHQ asked us to do some work for them that I would snap out of it.  (HA!  As if!)  So, what’s the next best thing?  I need to remember good times.  The best times.  I need to remember the best times I have ever had.  I need to remember the best experiences I have had as a fan.  I need this and my fandom needs this.

Thus, I am proposing a challenge to myself.  I will make myself think and list the ten best experiences I have had as a fan.  Perhaps, these experiences will be a show or the first time I heard a song or saw a video.  Maybe, it will be something to do with a band member or two.  I suspect that tours will be featured heavily.  My friends, no doubt, will be featured.  They will be in my list, for sure.  As I begin to think about the best experiences I have had as a fan, I’m already remembering that those best experiences don’t have to do directly with the band, necessarily.  They are connected to the band, in some way, or in connection to being a fan, to being a Duranie.  I need to think and remember that fandom is more than the band.  It is about the activities I have been able to participate in and the experiences I have had along the way with the friends that I have made.

Therefore, I will spend the next week thinking about all of the great experiences I have had as a fan.  Once I have a list, I will work to isolate the top 10 experiences.  Then, I will share what I have come up with next week and invite all of you to do the same.  I, for one, would love to each and every one share here on the blog.  On that note, I have a list to start…

-A

 

Looking Back She Sees the Pattern

I have been thinking a lot about change lately.  More specifically, this year has been filled with a lot of change for me, personally.  To make a long story short (because who wants to read about me!), I have had two significant changes in my life.  First, I bought a condo on the other side of the city.  This was a big deal, not only because of the financial commitment, but also because I had been in my last place for over 10 years.  I was definitely trying to shake things up.  Second, I got a different job!  While this job is still teaching, it is completely different from what I have been doing.  I will be working with different curriculum at a different age group.  These changes are ones that I embrace, ones that I look forward to.  That said, as I adjust, I find myself looking for the constants in my life.  So much has changed, what has stayed the same?

Since this is a blog about being a Duran Duran fan, you are probably not surprised that one of the big constants in my life is being a Duranie!  This really hit me as I began packing all of my Duran related stuff.  I began to ask myself, “Do I really have this much Duran stuff?  Is it too much?”  I even asked my dear friends on Facebook to guess how many boxes my Duran stuff filled up?  Now, of course, box sizes vary wildly, the answers ranged from about 10 to about 45.  The answer?  37.  Now, before you all freak out and tell me that my obsession has gone too far, about 10 or so were shoe boxes.  They were small.  It is my excuse and I’m sticking to it!!!

Now, I’m basically unpacked.  I have a few areas that I would like to reorganize but there are no more boxes.  Pictures and knick knacks have been strategically placed.  Ah…more constants in my life.  The last room in the condo to be completed is my office.  I’m so excited for this space.  In my old place, whenever I had work to do, it was on the dining room table.  Piles appeared and organization was challenging. My new office offers me space to work, whether that work is part of my paid job or whether it is blogging, book writing or event planning as part of my fandom.  It probably isn’t surprising that my office is filled with all of the 37 boxes of Duran stuff.

Office2My office makes me feel warm.  It is filled with objects that represent mOffice3emories and good times.  The room reminds me that Duran Duran has been in my life for over 20 years.  I’m glad that they have been a part of my life and the soundtrack to my life.  My thoughts then shift to the band and them finishing DD14, the next Duran album.  I wonder if they are embracing change with it?  While I know how much of a good thing change can be, I also appreciate what has remained constant.  I believe it is a delicate, but important balance.

-A

 

 

March Katy Kafe Summary

I have a feeling that somehow, I completely missed the February edition of the Katy Kafé with Nick.

I don’t know how that happened, only that it did…and we’ll just leave it at that for now. My apologies. However, I’m back at it with for the March edition, and the guest in the Kafé this month was none other than Simon LeBon.  As per usual, I am just going to do a summary of the highlights. If you really want to enjoy the Kafé, the best way is to get yourself a membership to duranduranmusic.com.

So, as every Kafé with Simon begins – it seems to take Katy a bit to reign him in. I listened with amusement as Simon told Katy that he likes coffee every once in a while. It seems to me that the very LAST thing Simon needs is caffeine…. One thing is certain, Simon has a lot of energy and he flits from one subject to the next as I’m busily writing notes and attempting to keep up. (it’s pretty impossible…)  Somehow, I think he must know that we mere mortals just cannot. (keep up, that is.)

He explains, I think, that Sphere Studios is no longer Sphere Studios. The owner apparently has another studio here in the LA area that will be called Sphere, so the occupants of the studios in Battersea are voting on a new name.

(…Since everyone on the planet seems to know where to go when they get to the UK and Simon had no trouble mentioning where the infamous “studios” are located, I see no point in refraining from giving away the city here on the blog. If they’re not careful, I might just start posting the address. Maybe seeing fresh faces outside each  day will give the band reason to finish the album….or if nothing else….I’ll get a restraining order out of the deal, and that would likely be entertaining for all involved….Ok, so I’m joking about the address. Don’t email me for it. I didn’t even know the place was in Battersea ’til yesterday, much less the actual address or directions. Yes, I’m really on top of things. I know.)

Simon’s idea is to call it the Southern Sun Studios. This makes me laugh because well, “sun” isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind when I think of London. Perhaps that’s the point, as Simon goes on to acknowledge that yes, it does bring the label of Elvis Presley “Sun Records” to mind.

Katy takes this beautiful opportunity to once again try to pry some information out of LeBon…but he’s not playing along. I have to give Katy due credit, she really does try to get information out of him, or at least some sense of clarity. She realizes that to all of us out here – those of us who care, mind you – would really like to know what in the hell they’re doing in the studio each day. We want to know where they are as far as the album goes, and to be blunt – when are we gonna hear something new?! Katy makes the point that while John is saying the album will not be out until 2015, Nick is really still saying it will be a little earlier (at least he’s hopeful!)…and she asks Simon why there seems to be a disconnect. Simon doesn’t say a thing (seriously, there was dead silence in the Kafé at that point!) except to say that she should know by now he’s not going to give a single detail.

Fine then, Simon. Don’t play nicely. I may just have to resort to posting photos and video of your dance moves over the years and we’ll start voting and judging them. That’s fine….I’m sure I can find plenty to keep me busy until one of you decides to spill the secret, or better yet…the album is released.

Katy tries again, going for the “You know who we need in here? We need John Taylor” approach…because at least HE will give us some info. Except that according to Simon, they’re not sending John for interviews any longer. So the album is THAT secret?? You’d think they were afraid of a blog getting hold of all that precious and juicy information and misinformation, then spreading it throughout the internet, fan community and world… or something. Gee. Who’d really do that?!?

(We may speculate. We might continue speculating…but we would never post news that the band didn’t want out there. Not knowingly. That’s not our job, that’s not why we’re here, and that’s not something we would ever promote.)

Simon does say that he’s just finished playing some guitar on the song they’re currently working on , and says that the guitar is kind of a mix between The Cure and Johnny Cash. I can’t even imagine what that must sound like, and it appears I’ve got at least another nine months of wondering ahead of me. Yay.

So what else has Simon been up to? Recently he went to David Frosts’s memorial. David was given a stone at Westminster Abbey (the best description I can give: it’s a stone tile inserted into the wall of the Abbey)

Additionally, he tells Katy that he spends some time tinkering with his motorcycle…thus begins a short discussion of Simon suggesting that anyone who works on cars, motorcycles, etc should wear surgical gloves. Not a bad tip. They’re cheap and can be thrown out when the job is done, although Simon slyly comments that he might sell his on eBay when he’s finished. (He was KIDDING so don’t even think of running an eBay search for them!!) I grimaced, knowing that while the idea of buying such things might be, well…odd to me…he’d probably get a good price for them.

(As an aside, it is the knowledge of these types of things taking place amongst fans that still makes me question whether or not I want to be public about being a fan myself. Whether that makes me judgmental or not – it’s how I feel about being a fan sometimes.)

This led into a lively chat about Simon’s overall handy-work around the house. He admits that he once nearly electrocuted himself. I can’t even imagine how that happened, but I almost wish Simon had shared the story.  You know, just because I’m curious.  (No comments about curiosity killing the cat. I’m not the one who was nearly electrocuted!!)  Katy then shares that one of the first times she visited his home in London, he’d pitched a tent outside.   The things I’ve learned about members of this band over the years…. (yes, I’m musing.)

They continued on, speaking of British and American TV shows, accents and even books.  Simon has been reading a lot of Stephen King as of late…(a future Simon’s reader author, maybe??), and interestingly enough, he even had dinner with Benedict Cumberbatch (Google him if you don’t know who it is) recently.  Simon describes him as a very good person who is obsessed with film. I’d describe him as the perfect British actor (I adore his series, Sherlock)…and he has an open invitation to read stories to me any time he’d like.  *coughs*  Simon closes the Kafé by extending his condolences regarding L’Wren Scott to Mick Jagger.  As abruptly as the Kafé began, it ended, and Simon was off for more work in the studio.

-R

Changing and Expanding

Over the past several weeks, we have had many people – some well-intentioned, some otherwise, tell Amanda and I that we’re asking a lot of ourselves to come up with a daily blog about the band; or about being fans of this band.

I would agree. It IS a lot to ask ourselves. It never started out to be that way – I loved the name (still do), and at the time we had plenty to write about. More than plenty! There always seemed to be something that would come up.  I knew the time would come when there would be a long dry spell in between albums, and I wondered how we would weather that period, but I figured (as I usually do) that we would cross that bridge when we found it.  We have done far, far better than I would have hoped.

The fact is, this blog is about being a fan…and we are betting that many of you have other interests besides Duran Duran, whether or not they include certain TV shows (I’m a sucker for Sherlock and Scandal myself), other bands (The Killers is near the top of my list), or something else entirely.  As much as Amanda and I have done our due diligence of research on Duran Duran,  I think she’d agree that we’ve likely done far, far more on Fandom itself at this point – something that will likely continue, as will our blogs about being fans.

We recognize that for many of you – your interest with this blog and especially Amanda and I, begins and ends with Duran Duran, and we understand. However, we’ve decided to expand, and as a result we will be throwing other things up for discussion here on a more regular basis from here on out.  Don’t leave yet!  Likely, readers might not notice much difference – except that now I’m making the public announcement that we’re going to be slowly expanding the blog beyond being Duran Duran fans.  We are still kicking around ideas for how that might happen, but there will definitely be a slow evolution taking place. It was never our intention to solely rely on Duran Duran to be the vehicle of our existence. We had always planned to expand in the long term, but it was finding the right time, and both Amanda and I feel that time is near.  That doesn’t mean we’ll leave Daily Duranie behind or that we’ll stop discussing Duran Duran altogether, only that we’ll be expanding our horizons and letting our insanity run wild through other fandoms as well!

This is where our readers – you – come into play.  We obviously want to cover fandoms and topics that you are interested in.  The sky is really the limit here, and we’ll try almost anything once!!  So, I invite you to drop us a line. Let us know what you like.  Tell us what you’d like to read about.  Send us an email: dailyduranie@gmail.com.

Additionally, we would like to invite submissions for guest blogs. If you have a particular subject that you’re interested in writing about that has to do with fandom, not necessarily Duran Duran fandom – let’s say you’re a big Harry Potter fan and went to a convention, or you adore Star Trek and even write FILK (songs) – or perhaps you’ve been Sherlocked and want to write all about it, we’re inviting you to write an article and send it to our gmail for submission consideration.  We are pretty open to reading whatever is sent to us, and if we think it’ll fit – we’ll publish it here for all the world to see!

Our guidelines are simply that the article (blog) must be formatted and edited (meaning that it needs to be written in a word processing program of some sort as opposed to sent to us at Facebook, and we ask that you please spell check your work.). Additionally, proper grammar is not only appreciated, it is expected.  Please do not send in submissions that were written as though you’re texting a friend, thank you.  We prefer length to be under 1000 words.  (although if you have an amazing article that is over that amount, we can talk about it)  Daily Duranie has final say over submissions, and we do not pay for publication.

If accepted for publishing, Amanda or I will make contact and request that the author send a small photo and a short 5-6 line bio about themselves for publication. Just as it was back on our blogger site, authors will receive byline credit as well as have a nifty thumbnail photo and bio published with each accepted article.

Change is not easy for any of us, including Amanda and I. It is difficult to know exactly what direction to travel, and we’ve always allowed this blog to sort of evolve organically as opposed to forcing it in one direction or another. We feel as though it’s come to a natural point where it’s time to expand just a little and see how it feels. We hope that many, if not all of our readers, will appreciate some fresh air with what is to come and stick with us for the journey!

-R

 

Where it’s gonna end up, anybody knows

This past week has brought some really nice memories to mind. It was 10 years ago today that the US leg of the Astronaut tour began in Florida. TEN YEARS AGO?!?

I feel like I just blinked and went from getting mysterious, static-filled cell phone calls from friends in various cities who wanted to share parts of their show with me to…well…this moment right here as I’m looking back on fond memories and typing away. Ten years flew right on by.

Does anyone remember how much fun we had? We were all excited and happy to be once again (or still!) obsessed with Duran Duran. Many, many people had planned to be in attendance at many of the shows on that tour. Still more of us had never had the chance to see the original five live on stage before, so this was our chance to make that happen. None of us realized until later just how special this tour really was, or could have been had Andy finished all of the dates. We didn’t know that Andy Taylor would eventually leave the band. We liked the new album (we certainly LOVED the idea that the original five were back together).

For me, 2005 was the chance to do it the way I would have wanted back in the 80s. I wanted to see all five of them live. I wanted to go to more than one show on a tour, and I wanted to go with my friends….who just happened to live at least halfway across the country from me. Only a slight geographical issue to deal with, along with a husband who couldn’t quite figure out what semi-truck (with Tiger Tiger blaring in the background, of course) had just ran him over. So badly, I wanted to seize the moment, and just go.

Funny thing about life though… sometimes even when you’re given a second chance, you can’t just up and leave responsibilities lying in the wake. I had two small children here at home, and the aforementioned husband. I had friends making plans to do week after week of traveling and shows, and I knew there was absolutely no way such things would go over well here. I would be lucky to go to ONE show, much less travel, and so I really did live vicariously through friends who threw caution and responsibility to the wind in order to travel. I wished I could have been like them. I did wish that I was more “unattached”. I loved my kids and husband, but this felt like such a once-in-a-lifetime moment. I didn’t want to miss out, yet I knew that there was no way I’d be able to do half of what I wanted. No, I was not nearly as brave as those friends who left real life behind for a while in favor of fun and a little DD-styled mayhem.

I can remember having “the conversation” with my husband just as presales began.  I had a tentative plan of attack: my friends wanted to meet in Chicago. I agreed to the plan for VIP tickets and a weekend trip. There was quite a large group of us that would be there that weekend. Since I already knew I would not be able to attend the LA date due to being on vacation, my plan was to beg and plead for a chance to go to Chicago instead, along with possibly going to the show in Las Vegas, where still more friends would be in attendance.

My husband was incredulous at my asking to not only go to a show without him, but one that was also across the country.  Additionally, he couldn’t understand for the life of him why I needed to go to Vegas as well.  “You only go to ONE show on a tour, Rhonda. There’s no point in going to two.  Absolutely not.  I WORK. You stay home and take care of the kids.  It is what we’ve always done, and there’s no need for you to be running around like you’re a teenager. Is this how you want to spend our money? ” I was furious at the idea of his resistance, but determined to at least see the show in Chicago. Oh…and YES dear, this was exactly how I wanted to spend our money. OUR money. I had earned the right to go and have some fun after years of what felt like servitude, staying at home, cooking, doing endless loads of laundry and cleaning up after two children under the age of 10 along with a slightly messier husband.  Eventually, he agreed, but not without a lot of arguing and flat-out sulking up until the day I left.  He had made sure to tell me, several times in fact, that going to this single show was fine, but that after I came home, that was it. No more traveling. (keep in mind that I’d just been to New Orleans for a fan convention a month or so prior, as well as taking our oldest out of school to go to an album signing event earlier in that month.  This after many years of never even mentioning Duran Duran….so for him this was indeed a big change.)  I agreed to his terms, all the way up until someone mentioned the Milwaukee show, which happened to be the same weekend I was going to already be IN Chicago.

The question was asked, “Couldn’t we just buy regular, non-VIP tickets for this show in Milwaukee and go?”  No one would need to stay longer before traveling home. Milwaukee was only about an hour and a half from Chicago or so, and no one really had to know.  Yes, yes …I thought. I could see this plan working.  So, the slightly more devious side of me agreed to have one of my friends buy my ticket and I’d send them money to pay them back.  Yes my friends, this is when my Duran Duran “life of crime” began.  I bought that ticket and never said a thing to my husband…

…until of course my husband found out on his own.  He’s a smart one, that guy.  So… you all can just imagine for yourselves how that conversation went….I have tried to block it all from memory at this point.

Yes, I’ve been to “a few” shows since that stolen Milwaukee show (which was FABULOUS, by the way!), and of course there’s this blog, among other things.  It’s been a wild ten years, hasn’t it?

-R

You can put me straight

Believe it or not, there are times when I really wonder why I started this blog. Coming off a nice “anniversary” of sorts last week, which you can read about here (ICYMI), I had all sorts of warm fuzzies over this fan community.  Thankfulness, hopefulness and love all around.

Then Saturday happened. Call me crazy, but its a pretty sad state of affairs when someone cannot write a simple blog without people coming unglued over the words. I still feel as though the spirit with which Amanda wrote was completely misread. What was an honest post about how the community aspects of being fans is what keeps all of us here and present during times when the band isn’t touring or even around was taken in a thousand different directions than the one intended.  I’m not sure how Amanda felt coming away from that day, but after I caught up on the posts and comments, I felt horrible.

I saw everything from “Give the band a chance” (What is that supposed to mean, exactly?) to “You’re degrading the opinions of other fans.” (Are you joking?)  Personally I think a more appropriate comment would have just been “How dare you say anything remotely negative about Duran Duran!” because that at least would have made sense and been truthful.  Thinly veiled comments regarding maturity and impatience (which, by the way – I’d already said myself at some point in the past couple of weeks. Thanks for noticing.) spiced up the day as well.  Then there were others who flat out just either didn’t agree or didn’t understand the blog.  Those comments were the most helpful of the bunch, because at the very least – it shows me where our writing needs to be tightened up, and quite honestly: not everyone is EVER going to agree with us anyway.  Newsflash: we already know this.

Where to go from here?  I’m not really sure.  I’ve been told twice in the last week that social media is on its way out, blogging has become a thing of the past, and that we have no real purpose these days.  “There are more important things to do.” Maybe so.

Maybe I should mention that the purpose of her blog was merely to prove that relationships (between fans) are what keep us glued to the community.  What if I wrote that we have some ideas on how to keep ourselves entertained between albums, and that we even had ideas for upcoming in-person meetups and events to celebrate the new album when it arrives. Would that have changed the responses?

Amanda told me on Saturday that many of the responses she received just proved her point – that the people who responded said they just had other things going on in their life and that since the band was busy, they were busy too and didn’t take time to check in.  That makes sense. Amanda and I are still involved because we write the blog every day – album or not.  I can’t really drift too far away, even if sometimes I might like the idea of not thinking about the ban for a change. I read from others that without a central message board, there’s just nowhere to gather. I agree. Yet, if you go to DDM – it’s a ghost town on their boards. Why is that?

As you should have noticed, this post isn’t about what THE BAND is doing.  Let’s remove them from the equation for a bit – because they’re doing whatever it is that they’re doing.  Their creative process isn’t really my concern right now.  For this blog post, I’m not interested in debating whether or not they need to be on Twitter or any other social media.  Let’s talk about being fans.  What keeps us going when the band isn’t touring or in the news?

I started this blog because I had a lot to say.  Simon once said in an interview that there were outspoken fans in the US that wanted the band to know what it was like being fans, about how the music made us feel. I really don’t know whom he was referring, but he was accurately describing Amanda and I.  A few years into this blog now, I find that I write to keep people connected. I write not only for the band, but also as a platform for fans to connect. I keep hoping to bring people together.  That’s why I started this blog, and that is why we keep going.

-R