Tag Archives: Duranies

Duran Duran live in February 2019. Can you wait?

Time is flying by, my friends. Yesterday, I spent the afternoon school supply shopping with my youngest. She is ten, going into fifth grade this year, and is in all of her preteen glory. I can’t believe she’s really approaching the same age I was when I first discovered Duran Duran. It hardly seems possible, although judging by the growth spurt she has had this past year, I shouldn’t be surprised. So we are staring down into the tunnel of a new school year, one that will include many changes, no less. I’m not ready. Summer was fairly non-existent. Twenty years of solid abuse takes time to undo, particularly when the main fixer-upper person lives elsewhere during the week. I’ve gone to two shows this summer, and I’ve been out with my husband alone three times. No vacations, no camping, just a lot of sweat, dirt, and achy muscles.

School starts in about two and a half more weeks. Our house goes on sale Tuesday. Why move during the summer when you can pull out your hair, move boxes and shuffle holidays, children and school around mid year??  My husband and I have a certain way about planning, as evidenced by the sheer genius spacing of our children – Heather is 21, Gavin is 19, and as I said – the youngest is 10.  (my sarcasm is alive and kicking) Mark my words, I will be moving over Thanksgiving weekend if not even mid-December when things are even nuttier. I can feel it coming, and I’ve already accepted my fate.

Meanwhile, there is this band I “kind” of like, and tend to blog about on an almost daily basis. They’ve been semi-awol for a while now while I’ve been in my own rabbit hole. I think they’re around, enjoying their own lives. Imagine that! Earlier in the week, DDHQ had tweeted a photo from #Duranlive, saying that there would be no live shows until February, but that they liked the picture.

This, my friends, was news I needed. I can’t lie, this entire year, I’ve had this little niggling, nagging, thought in the back of my mind.  Would the band end up doing shows this year? If they did, how would I get there? I’m awful, because there I was, husband just starting back to work, me up to my neck in boxes, and I worried about Duran Duran. I mean, not the kind of day-and-night worry. Just the kind that would appear in my head when I heard “Rio”, or “Paper Gods”, or thought about drummers and guitarists. It was a thing. Even the band themselves seemed unsure, saying that there was a chance they’d have a one-off show here or there before year-end.  Uncertainty drives me crazy.

February of 2019 though, is a lot less uncertain. This tidbit, or mile-marker on the journey, makes my heart begin to sing the joyful sounds of “Hungry Like the Wolf” (I can see you laughing at me, Nick. Knock it off.) As I “doo doo doo do, do doo do, do doo do, do doo do, doo doo” my way through packing the precious little that is actually left in this now-personality free house, I’ll be thinking of the fun that is waiting for me in 2019.

Funny how times change. During the Mojave Desert of nothingness between All You Need is Now and Paper Gods, I was desperate. Foraging for anything I could find. A small but tasty sliver of news would have satiated me. A tall, cool drink of Dom or Roger (oh yes, I did just type that.) would have quenched a bit of my thirst along the way. I was dying. I even begged Amanda to fly out to Los Angeles for what could have easily been one (yes, ONE) song performed by Duran Duran at the David Lynch gala at the Ace Theatre. Thankfully, it was a few songs. I nearly died that night in more ways than one, but even those memories kept me going.

This time though, I’m far more patient. I do still miss the band. Any time I see Dom tweet (which isn’t all that often), I grin like the Cheshire Cat. Do I have it that bad? Maybe. I love seeing the very occasional tweet from Simon, or even the photos that John sends to DDHQ to post. Once in a while we’ll get something from Roger or even Nick, and I’m smiling for days. However, I am thankful to have the time to get my life back together. There will time for crazy drives to LA or even San Francisco later. I’m looking forward to getting my own touring group back together for late nights, vodka, cups with no lids and lots of laughing. But I can wait a bit longer. 2019 is beginning to show up on the horizon.

-R

Where is the line crossed from Fandom to Standom?

Hi everyone! Welcome to Wednesday afternoon!  I know I’ve missed a couple of blogging days, so I apologize. I am happy to say though that the “For Sale” sign is out in front of our house, and we have a big open house weekend coming up. Anybody want a house in a nice neighborhood in Orange County, CA?

Meanwhile, there is this blog, which has sadly been neglected this week. I’ve missed writing, and I must warn you that there could be a few more days of that ahead, depending upon how it all works when we actually move. Just recently, I saw a tweet from DDHQ declaring that there would be no live dates until February 2019, and that seems like a good goal for me. Get moved and unpacked by February!  I can only hope…

As I sat down to the computer today, I didn’t have anything in my head ready to write about. Someone must have read my mind and sent me an article about Stans. (Read it here)

A “Stan” is an overly obsessive fan. Funny thing about the words “overly” and “obsessive” – they require interpretation. Where is that line, and how do I not cross it?  This is a question we have continued asking since the blog was in its infancy. It would seem that there is no hard and fast answer, even when many of us would be far more comfortable if there were.

The article isn’t about asking what or who is a stan, but instead talks about the destructive culture itself. What does that mean? Well, in the case of the article, they use a recent incident involving Nicky Minaj and a critic, who dared wonder in print if Nicky could get past the “silly” stuff and write lyric with more substance. Nicky lashed out in return, sending the critic a rather violent and crude response over DM. Not to be deterred, the critic took a screen shot and posted it for all to see. Nicky’s fans went on the extreme defensive, harassing the critic on every known form of social media. They went as far as finding her cell phone number, texting her death threats, and even locating photos of her daughter and circulating them online. In my personal opinion, it was completely unwarranted, unnecessary, and over the top.

The internet allow a shroud of anonymity to hide behind, and some are not afraid of spewing vitriol whenever they disagree with something that they read. In my own experience, it has gotten to the point that I am far more careful about what I say, or even what I write about. For a select few – it in’t enough to disagree, they feel like they need to ruin someone’s reputation, and even harass family members. All for the sake of proving a point?

Disagreeing from time to time with something that is written is normal. I expect people to take issue with things I write, for example. In fact, sometimes I write with that intention in my mind. I would expect that other writers, bloggers, and social media managers are the same. What no one truly expects though, is to have their private lives ripped to shreds because a fan base, or “stan” base.

I can cite numerous examples of this within our own fan community. Attacks on critics who aren’t as positive about the band (that’s putting it mildly – as is the word “attacks”), and even the way we go after one another when someone says or writes something we don’t agree with. But where or when should it be enough? Do we need to “expose” the person on every form of social media? Going after family members and death threats were activities that were at one time left to the most obsessed. They were called stalkers, not fans.  However,  they are commonplace now, to the point where we have an entire category of fan named for them, Stans.

It is my hope that everyone reading this blog will click on the link for the article, and that doing so springboards discussion. The question I  want to now pass on to each of you reading, is simple. Where is the line? At what point do we begin to realize that not every online disagreement needs to end with a threat of questioning someone’s character, or at worst – suggesting death?

-R

 

Duran Duran Appreciation Day 2018 is tomorrow!

Sadly, I am going to miss Duran Duran Appreciation Day festivities this year.  As I lamented earlier in the week on social media – this is the year where nothing goes quite as planned. Instead, I’ll be driving back to the OC from a quick trip north. It can’t really be helped, but that doesn’t mean I’m not sad about missing out.

It’s weird to me, because if all had gone as originally planned, I would be in Las Vegas right now, preparing for our convention. I hate thinking about that because I really wanted to do it, and while I know there’s no way I could have actually pulled it off, I sure wish we were there! I’m hoping for better DDAD showings in the future from Daily Duranie, that is for sure. We need a real party!

We do appreciate Duran Duran. More than they know, really. We write about them nearly every day in one capacity or another. I love that there’s a holiday for them, though! I know that our goals with writing the blog has changed over the years. It is an elastic sort of thing, I suppose. Right now, I use the blog as a sort of escape, but also as a way to solidify myself. I sometimes still have to figure out how to  allow myself “space” to be a fan, and I use the blog as a place to grapple with it, oddly enough!

Most of us can say that the band has been there through some of the most difficult times in our lives. The music guides us through, gives us the gentle shove when we need it, and even some hope that things will get better. I know it’s helped me. Right now, as I start really saying goodbye to the only house my kids have known, the place we held so many birthdays, holidays and family get-togethers, along with all of the memories held within (my darling son once took his teeth and ran them the entire way down our wooden stair railing – the grooves are still there. Yes, he’s still alive to tell about it!), I listen to the band a lot. Moving is rough, life can be crushingly painful, but music helps.

I hope everyone is able to take time and enjoy that they’re fans of a band that is still out there creating, even in 2018!  We are so lucky to still have them out there, writing, recording and performing – and even communicating with us on occasion. That’s definitely worth celebrating!

Happy Duran Duran Appreciation Day, everyone! Have a wonderful day tomorrow!

-R

 

 

Mountain Winery, 2012 – were you there?

What were you doing on this date in 2012? Anything good? I do believe that some DD fans out there were lucky enough to be at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, California! This was the first of two nights at the winery, and in fact they were the first US dates included in the final leg of shows on the All You Need is Now tour.

Let’s just take a quick look at the set list, shall we?

  1. Before the Rain
  2. Planet Earth
  3. A View to a Kill
  4. All You Need is Now
  5. Being Followed
  6. The Reflex
  7. Come Undone
  8. Is There Something I Should Know
  9. Girl Panic!
  10. The Man Who Stole a Leopard
  11. Notorious
  12. White Lines
  13. Ordinary World
  14. Hungry Like the Wolf
  15. Sunrise
  16. Wild Boys/Relax

Encore:

  1. Save a Prayer
  2. Rio

 

I hadn’t looked at this set list in quite a while. I must admit that I miss “All You Need is Now”, opening with “Before the Rain” (but not that 9-minute artsy film they played before they took the stage!), and even seeing the audience clap along with “The Man Who Stole a Leopard”.  Good times.

All of this talk about setlist makes me wonder what, when and where we’ll hear of Duranlive next!

-R

In the Rear View Mirror – Irvine Meadows 2016

On this date in 2016, Duran Duran played the Irvine Meadows Amphitheater in Irvine, California.

Incidentally for me, this was right by my current home. Not more than a fifteen minute drive at most. The amphitheater was a mainstay in Orange County, being one of the sole places to catch an outdoor gig with bigger names than might play one of the (many) community outdoor concerts in the area. To the band, Irvine and the surrounding area probably just looked like Land of the Planned Community. Cookie-cutter homes, all with Spanish tiled roofing and manicured lawns. Mundane. Boring yes, but still home to those of us who live here.

Just so you know, I can’t wait to get out of here and have a home in the hills, somewhere far north of the traffic and crowds, but that’s another story for another day.

It was only two years ago, but the snapshot in my head from that night is of my youngest, sitting a few rows away with my husband. At the time she was eight years old, and was so excited to go see Duran Duran that night!  Her favorite song at the time was “Last Night in the City”, a fact that both amused me and made me apprehensive for the teenage years yet to come. She loved singing it at the top of her lungs in the car when we’d drive to and from school, cultivating her inner-diva as she would regularly hit Kiesza’s high notes, much to my surprise. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending upon your view), she has entered more of an “emo” phase now. Preferring dark clothes, absolutely no dresses of any kind, and anime over Duran Duran videos. It’s an adjustment, and it’s a journey.  deep cleansing breath

I remember sitting with Amanda before the show.  I think we might have been among the first to arrive in our section that night. In fact, the cover photo for this website is from that show, taken by my husband. We were excited, as we always are, but it felt a little bittersweet, too. This was our second to the last show for that summer. It felt like we’d been in “tour-mode” for weeks, and I think we could feel the let-down coming on. That’s always painful, but it was made a little less-so that night by someone peering at us from side stage and giving us a wave before the show started that night. Apparently, we’d gone to enough shows that summer to be recognized, which is kind of funny. Hey, at least he didn’t send security out to remove us!

It was a fun summer. I loved the road tripping that Amanda and I did together. I have never laughed harder than when we were filming a few of the YouTube videos we posted.  These days, when my life is in a bit of a disarray and Amanda is very busy with her own missions in life, 2016 feels like a long time ago.

I know that for a lot of fans, the Astronaut tour holds special meaning. It is when many met one another, and traveled to different corners of the world to see the band, and one another. For me, the Paper Gods tour is similar. I saw more shows this tour than any other, went to new places, and made many new friends. I couldn’t have asked for more than that. Since 2016, Irvine Meadows Amphitheater has been torn down and replaced by condominiums. There’s a new amphitheater called Five Points that has opened up in the Irvine Great Park. I hear it’s nice, but I can’t help but wish they’d left Irvine Meadows alone. Nothing ever stays the same forever though, does it?

A tour is just a snapshot. Just as we can look back at Duran Duran photos and place them in a timeline based on outfits and hair color, we can do the same with a tour.  I wonder how any of us would characterize the Paper Gods tour now that it’s in our rear view mirror?  Maybe that’s another blog for another day.

-R

 

Fandom Made Me a Happier Person, Too!

I apologize for my tardiness with today’s post. The past 24 hours have been rather unkind. My home, which was spotless on Saturday, now looks as though it has been hit by a hurricane. There is a film of dust everywhere, combined with layers of plastic, tape and yes, paint.

Speaking of which, I have a PSA for anybody who ever plans to paint, or spoil themselves and have their house painted. Always remember to pull out blankets, pillows, and perhaps a few outfits, because otherwise all of your belongings – like maybe your entire house – will essentially end up piled like a life-sized Jenga game into the center of each bedroom, and then shrink-wrapped in plastic without any way for you to retrieve your personal items. I have it on good authority that you will be left wondering at 11:30 that night how you’re going to get your ten-year old to finally go to sleep.  Maybe your significant other will end up folding an old down throw blanket into a cushion and sleeping on the wood floor, perhaps your son will sleep on an office chair, and maybe you’ll be stuck on your couch, without a blanket or a pillow.  Oh, and god forbid you have a stomach virus while all of this is going on. Yeah.

So yep, the blog is late, and I’m tired.

Today, I ran across an article that I think every Duran fan should read. This article, titled “Fandom Made Me a Happier Person – And There’s A Very Real Reason For That” is posted on bustle.com. It outlines some fantastic “side effects” to participating in a fandom.  I replied to the person who originally tweeted the link to the article on Twitter to say that 99% of my experience in this fandom has been positive.

Yes, Amanda and I have examined some of the less-than-positive aspects to certain fan practices. That’s part of studying fandom. However, she and I would be among the first to jump and shout about the good things we’ve experienced and discovered simply because we happened to be Duran Duran fans.

I’ve written about many of these things before, but just the very idea of having some interest that is mine, and mine alone, has been empowering. I’ve traveled, I’ve made lifelong friends, and I’ve even challenged myself to leave my very comfortable “box”, in search of pushing my own boundaries a bit. I’m far from perfect or finished, but I’m much happier!

Sometimes, we all get so focused on the small, insipid annoyances that go along with socializing within a small community that we forget the broader, far more positive, payoffs. I have to thank Kelsea Stahler, the author, for the good reminder. Check out the article (linked in the text above!)

-R

REPOST: You’ve Built Your Refuge Turns You Captive All The Same

From time to time, we all need a break. I’m finding that today, I need one too. This is something that Amanda and I have discussed off and on over the years, never really coming to a firm decision about taking vacations or holidays. We take time when we need, and we handle it however makes sense, which is what I’m doing today.

I decided to look back five years from today’s date and post whatever blog is there. (one good reason for the archives, I say!) It turns out that on this date in 2013, Amanda wrote the blog. The topic is just as timely now as it was then. Not everything about fandom comes up smiles and rainbows, am I right?  Enjoy!!


You’ve Built Your Refuge Turns You Captive All The Same

Originally posted July 19, 2013

I have been a Duran Duran fan for a loooooooooooooong time.  A lot of us have.  I have been involved in a few other fandoms over the course of my life but none have stuck with me like Duran has.  There is probably a ton of reasons why that is but that isn’t the point of this particular blog post.  While I might have been with Duran over these other fandoms, there are Duranies who have ONLY been in the Duran fandom.  Then, there seems to be people who bounce from fandom to fandom to fandom.  Why do they do that?  Why have I been interested in other fandoms, at times, too?  While the simple, surface answer is that people can like many things and I can like other things besides Duran.  That’s true but…I think there is something about fandom itself that leads people to enjoy joining fandoms or leads people to leave fandoms once they become familiar, common place.

Do you remember what it was like when you first joined the Duran fandom?  Or any other fandom?  My memories from every fandom feel the same.  It feels good, happy, thrilling, exciting.  Everything and everyone feels positive.  I, for one, typically can’t get enough and can’t stop talking about whatever the object of that particular fandom is.  Everyone in the fandom literally feels like a family and I can’t ever imagine that there is ever bad blood or that people don’t get along.  I have such fond memories of when I joined the Duran fandom in 2004 (remember I was a fan before that but not part of the community).  I posted frequently on message boards and spent time reading them even more.  I spent a lot of money trying to fill in any gaps in the Duran catalog and organizing the pieces of memorabilia that I had while acquiring even more.  I wanted to know and have everything and everyone in the fandom seemed to support this. It was wonderful.  Just wonderful.  When I decided to go to the convention, part of the reason was that I wanted more.  I wanted to be around others who understood the overwhelming love I had for this band.  At the convention, it seemed like every single fan was awesome and each and every one of them could become my best friend because we all shared this very important thing.  I didn’t need to hide.  In fact, my fandom was cherished, was celebrated.  Everything and everyone seemed perfect from my fellow fans to the band.

After that, the album came out and the tour happened.  I went on tour for the first time in my life.  It continued to be perfect.  Part of the reason was that it provided a perfectly positive escape.  Who doesn’t need an escape once in a while?  I know that I did.  I had just finished my master’s degree and was tired of taking classes, writing papers, etc.  Work was still pretty significant and was literally working many hours more beyond that forty hour a week contract.  While I wasn’t unhappy, I still needed those mental and emotional breaks that fandom was providing, that the Duran fandom was providing.  Once I went on tour, my interest became like a real obsession.  The escape from reality was intense there.  I wasn’t thinking about students, curriculum, behavior plans, etc.  I wasn’t worried about presenting myself professionally with parents or administrators.  Instead, it was all about fun–going from one show to the next, partying, staying up late, laughing like there was no tomorrow.  I found my refuge, for sure.  I loved it and couldn’t imagine ever stopping.  Heck, still today, I can’t imagine ever really stopping.  I can’t imagine not going on tour ever again.  Thus, in the early days of my Duran fandom, it was perfectly fun.  Beyond fun.  Beyond anything I could have ever wanted or imagined.  In my observation, while the details and experiences I had in Duranland might be different from other activities in other fandoms, the feelings I had were the same, at least to some degree, in other fandoms and what I have seen with other friends and family and their fandoms.  This feeling of everything and everyone being wonderful and the feelings of escape seem to happen with all fandoms when people join them.

Yet, as time has gone on, I have learned that not everything in Duranland is rainbows, butterflies and unicorns.  It isn’t perfect.  The band isn’t perfect and neither are the fans.  I don’t always agree with everything the band and their management has done.  I have met many, many fans.  Some of them have become close friends of mine (ha!), some have become people I like and would like to get to know more, and some I’m not too crazy about and they aren’t too crazy about me, either.  The perfection did not last.  The hearts and flowers did not live forever.  I still have many, many great days as part of this fandom.  I can’t really imagine leaving.  Yet, I have to acknowledge that it doesn’t always have that same level of escape and fun that it was once did.  In fact, there are days that I wonder if I shouldn’t consider walking away.  Why?  Simple.  I have those thoughts on days when it feels like the Duran fandom is the exact opposite of an escape.  There are days that it can feel almost like a trap.  The negatives fly fast and furious.  Luckily, those days, those times don’t last forever.  I then can focus on the good times I have had, the good friends I have made.  This allows me to wipe away the negatives, the hostility from others.  My experience has taught me what it takes to remain in a fandom and why some people might go from fandom to fandom.  I suspect those people are trying to avoid the negatives.  They only want the fun and escape.  I can’t blame them.  Who can?  Part of me is jealous because I can’t ever go back to those innocent, carefree days of early fandom, at least not with Duran.  I know too much.  I have seen too much.  People have seen and heard too much of me.

Initial fandom might feel like a perfect escape and definitely can be for a while.  Yet, as time goes on and people settle in, imperfections that occur with every human being, with every human community becomes clear.  To remain in a fandom means accepting those imperfections, accepting that it can’t always be an escape.  At times, it can and will feel just like the rest of reality with positives and negatives, with people of all opinions and more.  In that sense, fandom and fan communities become just like any other community, filled with reality.

-A

 

Why isn’t this date an international holiday?

Happy Monday, Duran fans! Welcome to a brand new week.  If I cannot be on tour, I cannot think of a better way to begin the week than with a huge Duran Duran holiday, celebrated by fans around the world. No, today isn’t Duran Duran Appreciation Day, it is the anniversary of the very first time the band in its classic, five-piece lineup of: Taylor, Taylor, Taylor, Le Bon, Rhodes played The Rum Runner on this date in 1980.

While it may be true that Amanda and I tend to celebrate many sorts of little anniversaries of things the band did, or we ourselves have experienced along the way, this is the big one. The big Glamfather of them all. The Big “R” in Rio. (Gosh darn it, that hyperbole would have worked SO WELL if only Rio had been out during that time period. Alas, it is Monday, and I’m going with it anyway!)

Thirty-eight years ago today, this band began to play….

(I could probably do this all day long.)

I love Duran Duran Appreciation Day, but I also love this anniversary. It would seem to me that if a band WERE to celebrate a specific date as an anniversary of its beginning that this one might serve well. I’d also go out on a limb to suggest that maybe, if a band were to say, celebrate ones 40th anniversary by playing a super special show (or set of shows) in a town known for being its birthplace, that maybe a July 16, 2020 show in Birmingham would be reasonable. I’m no tour organizer, and I’m certainly not a band manager, and no one need listen to me, but if I were in charge – this is the date I’d shoot for.

Amanda and I are not betting people by any means, but if you don’t think we’ve had recent conversations about a trip abroad during the summer of 2020, you’d be severely underestimating our level of crazy. We’ve written this blog for nearly eight years now. By the summer of 2020, it will be coming up on ten, and we don’t post once a quarter, we post something nearly every single day. We are either completely nuts, or remarkably driven. You decide.  In the meantime, I’m going to keep thinking about the possibilities for a summer trip to the UK. I wonder if my family will notice if I’m gone for a few weeks….

Who really knew that a show on July 16, 1980 would be the beginning of all this? Moreover, who would have ever thought that they’d continue going strong even 2018 and beyond? Isn’t that thought worth celebrating?

I don’t really know why this isn’t already a holiday for Duranies. Seems to me, we deserve more than one, don’t you think?

-R

 

What is definitive Duran Duran?

Happy Wednesday! I’m sorry for my unexpected absence yesterday. We were having carpeting installed, and we had to disconnect the octopus of wires behind a desk. Unfortunately, that also disconnected our WiFi and disrupted our internet connection until it was far too late in the day for blogging.

I’m also late today, because of a meaningful, deep, philosophical discussion regarding the merits of the song “Drive By”.

Only a fellow Duran fan understands enough to talk about the space a specific song or album occupies. It is rare to find someone who understands and is able to relate such a song to the bigger picture is a gift.

The conversation was simply about why I believe “Drive By” is a definitive Duran Duran song of the Simon-Nick-John-Warren period. Actually, I think its one of the more definitive songs of their career. “Drive By” is definitive of their career during the mid-90s, but does it’s statement go even farther than that?

Let’s consider the period of time. John, Simon, Nick and Warren were defining themselves as another iteration of Duran Duran. This was an era of rediscovery, reinvention, and to some extent – forgetting who and what they once were (as a group). So “Drive By”, a deconstructed, even “now separated, once-conjoined twin” of “The Chauffeur”, is a spectacular example of this period of Duran’s career.

I can point to the cover of “Medazzaland” as another example, granted in a slightly different period. The graffiti-laden image of “Rio” weighs heavily in my mind. I often wonder if they weren’t really trying to bury that bright and glossy 80s magazine pin-up image of the fab five. Let’s face it, there was quite a bit to run from at that point. Maybe they were really over the idea of fans swarming their limos, even if by necessity. Perhaps they were anxious to be accepted as serious musicians. Maybe they were  over being the pin-up dreams of fresh-faced, dewy-eyed teenage girls?  Maybe they saw this new iteration of Duran Duran as being the “anti”1980s Duran Duran?  It isn’t difficult to imagine what they might have been thinking of when picking a cover for “Medazzaland”.

Rather than examining the song, or any one song, under the Duran Duran microscope, lately I’ve been thinking about the broader context. I’ve considered the changes in their sound over the years,  such as the rearranged, heavy jazz sounding brass and horn version of “Hungry Like the Wolf” or “Burning the Ground” – the remix to put a final period on 80s era Duran Duran.  I’ve pondered the more obvious, recent style changes, like the full, production-heavy pop sound on Astronaut compared to the deep urban groove of Red Carpet Massacre, or retro sounding All You Need is Now, along with Paper Gods.  Individually, each seeming to be a stroll down a different musical lane, but collectively – what do they really say about this band?

To some extent, I tend to believe the band has spent a great deal of time and energy running from what they (and critics) believed they were in 1984. We can say they’re not comfortable sitting upon their laurels, and we can claim that they are not easily satiated, creativity speaking, and I don’t think we’d be wrong. However,  I don’t think it hurts anyone to examine the deeper motivation of what might drive them.

Recently, during the BBC takeover night of DD television a couple of weeks back, John admitted that the critical comments from music journalists back in the day have bothered him up until very recently. This was not a surprise to me, other than being shocked at his utterance of the words out loud for all to hear. Amanda and I have been talking about that for years now – we’ve written about it many times on the blog, and I think we both cheered when we heard John say the words. Of course it bothered them. I get it! I very much appreciate his honesty and vulnerability. Accepting, and even respecting that one nugget of truth gave me such a different perspective on their career. It is like finally having the big picture come into focus. I just love them.

This is a band with an image based on the proverbial double-edged sword. On one side, they were incredibly successful because they appealed to teenage girls. They never said no to being the – poster boys of the 1980’s. In fact, they welcomed it, and we welcomed them! On the other side of that sword though, somewhere down deep, they secretly aspired to reach the recognition, acclaim and respect that comes from critics and other musicians. Screaming girls are wonderful, but perhaps having respect mattered too. Could we really blame them?

That isn’t to say the band’s career has been a giant folly, or that they were wrong to explore. Not in the least, and I want to be clear on that. In my mind, the fans are the ones who have made out the best on this deal. This band is still hungry. They are still in search of whatever is out there. With each new album comes a newly discovered Duran Duran. I just happen to believe the motivation to do so comes from something a bit more definitive.

-R

An Update on Ian’s project

I’ve debated whether or not to comment on something here publicly, because it could put Daily Duranie at odds with DDHQ, or it could put us in the direct line of fire from fans in the community, or most likely, both. Do I mention that the band is not promoting Ian Little’s book about Seven and the Ragged Tiger, or do I stop writing about it altogether and pretend it doesn’t exist?

Amanda and I are not promoted by the band.  We are not employed by Duran Duran, nor are we a part of their inner circle. Aside from having a link on the band’s website, and occasionally helping us out with special projects, we don’t really receive or expect anything from them.  Amanda and I don’t get passes to shows, go backstage or even have free tickets. Our names aren’t big enough to convince them that we matter beyond just being fans – we don’t host a radio show, we haven’t written books, and we’re not celebrities. Basically, we do not owe anyone, other than ourselves, anything. We are not sycophants, but we are fans of this band. We don’t write this blog because we want things, we write because we want to share our opinions and tell about our experiences in this fandom with people who want to read them. Whether that gives us any sort of credibility with anyone is honestly beyond my worry at this point. After nearly eight years of blogging, I’m sort of over worrying about who I’m going to offend or impress, I guess.

With that in mind, I noticed last week that DDHQ finally commented on Ian Little’s potential book project on Seven and the Ragged Tiger. In case you don’t know what that is, please check out the previous blog on the subject here.

To provide a bit of backstory, everyone who had signed up for information on the project should have gotten a note from Ian explaining that he’d heard from Wendy Laister (the band’s manager) saying that they would advise he not publish because it would likely be in competition with a few things the band has planned. Judging purely from what I saw online, I think the news that the band wouldn’t back Ian hit him hard. I don’t think he was expecting that news, and initially, he seemed defeated, saying that he was disappointed and couldn’t figure out why the band wouldn’t want to get onboard. After MANY replies from fans (Ian had also put the news out on Facebook) suggesting he go ahead with his plans, I think it gave Ian the motivation he needed.

It wasn’t long after that DDHQ put out a short tweet regarding the subject. I’m just going to copy/paste it here:

“A lot of people have been asking if Ian Little’s forthcoming book on the making of “Seven & the Ragged Tiger”is an official release and rather than responding individually we wanted to let you know it is not, and it is up to you whether you want to participate or not. Thanks^DDHQ”

A bit of clarification: it is always up to each of us whether or not we want to “participate”. That wording is awkward and quite frankly – odd. Secondly, this is not an “Us vs. Them” sort of situation. Many people have published books about the band, and only a fraction have been “official” releases. Most of us read them anyway, and we’ve all gone on to continue being fans of the band, leading productive lives. You won’t spontaneously combust if you read something the band hasn’t given their kiss of approval, and you won’t be a bad fan if you read somebody else’s point of view. Supporting the band does not mean drinking the Kool-Aid and never bothering to ask what’s in it!

On one hand, Ian wants to do this project, and I love the idea of reading about the making of Seven and the Ragged Tiger. Whether or not the band gives this project their approval is of little worry to me, personally. In a lot of ways, it seems like to have their approval means doing it their way, which may or may not actually hurt the validity of the project (to be blunt). They might decide what stories could be told, how they’re worded, and so forth.

On the other hand, I don’t know what the band could possibly have planned that would be in competition with this book. Even IF they have a similar story or anthology planned, it would seem to me that they’re forgetting that many (if not most) fans will buy anything they sell, assuming of course that the items are within financial reach for most fans. Selling a comprehensive limited edition, signed and sealed book about Duran Duran for $1000 or more means that decidedly few can and will buy. On the other hand, selling a comprehensive mass-market book that goes for $20.00 means that thousands of fans can and will buy a copy, and if some will be signed – many more copies will be purchased.

I’m not in the business. I don’t work in the music industry. I do wonder sometimes though, what goes on behind-the-scenes that encourages DDHQ to throw support one way and not another – and they have to know that their backing matters. I can’t help but notice that it isn’t what you ask, or how you ask, but instead how big of a celebrity you might be. Fans don’t seem to matter to DDHQ the way they do to the band themselves (and we DO matter to the band). It would seem like that’s wrong, but management is responsible for the business of Duran Duran. They have to protect the band’s interests, even if the decisions look backward to fans. It is hard (at least for me) not to throw a side-eye when I’ll see DDHQ respond directly to a celebrity when they say something about Duran Duran, but they don’t really seem to do the same for real fans. Yet, I get it. I do know how it is. Social media is all about who sees what. How many eyes  see a tweet to a fan versus a response to a big celebrity?  That’s not to say that DDHQ doesn’t try. They absolutely do. But sometimes, it just comes down to basic economics.

If you’re intrigued by Ian’s project, I’d encourage you to send an email to musiceel@gmail.com. He will respond and send you details. Getting on his mailing list is not a financial commitment, it is simply a way for him to gauge interest. Participating does not mean you will be committing a crime against DD.

-R