Tag Archives: Duranies

See them walking

As the lights (or sequins) flashing out are so bright

Is anyone else enjoying the pictures, set lists and tweets that seem to go hand-in-hand with touring? I love seeing the flurry of activity, the pictures from backstage (Questionable fashion choices included, l might add. Nice sequins, John.), and even the posts from other fans at the shows. It reminds me of how much I enjoy the whole touring process, even if I can’t be at every show.

Walk right out to the four line track

This week, however, I am very lucky to be able to say I’m getting ready to leave for Las Vegas on Thursday. In the past, I’d hop in my car and just drive the four hours. Maybe I’m weird, but I LIKE driving. I love the idea of being alone with my own thoughts, listening to my own music, and making my own way (no pun intended…really…) there. Unfortunately though, the distance from my current address makes the trip less-than-optimal, so I am flying. I leave on Thursday morning, and I’m flying on a fairly tiny plane – just 30 seats – which should make the trip interesting!

Naturally, the one time I am flying on a very small plane, there’s a chance of snow. Now, I realize most of you live in snowy climates. Snow isn’t exactly “news”…except that this is happening in Las Vegas, which is really not known for snow. I’m not really concerned about the weather – as long as my little plane is able to take off and land at the appropriate places. I would also like to put it out there that I hope everyone else has safe travels, too. After that, I’ll be inside…and probably at a bar. I mean, it’s my vacation!

Sense a rhythm humming

We’ve had quite a few people ask us about meet-ups this week. Here is the thing: we get in on Thursday afternoon and will be ready for fun by late afternoon! This time though, Amanda and I sort of agreed that we’d do things more casually. The pressure of putting something together didn’t appeal to me, and I liked the idea of just going with the flow. I realize that for many of you coming, you might have been hoping for firm plans and big parties. What I will tell you is this, we’ll post where we’re going and you can decide to join in. It’ll BE a big party no matter what, but it takes a little bit of the pressure and planning off of us to do it more like a “pop-up” hangout. Looking forward to seeing everyone!!

In the meantime, I can give the heads up that Mandalay Bay has a pretty good live band that plays in their Rhythm & Riffs lounge right in the middle of the casino. Their name is Phoenix, and they’re a solid cover band. They’ve been at Mandalay for at least 6 years now, if my memory serves. They play a pretty good variety, but they are mainly rock, not pop. They’re not going to break into “Rio”…for example. They go on at 10 on Thursday, and I believe 10:30 on Fridays. I wouldn’t be surprised if you found a bunch of us there on Thursday night, if you happen to be in town and want to open the weekend with a good party!

Wider baby, smile (we haven’t made a million…more like SPENT a million…..)

Now, for those of you who aren’t going to be in Las Vegas, I am going to try my best to keep my phone out of water this time, and post more videos! Dance parties, meet-ups, bar “visits”…Duran shows… what could be better?!? Even if you’re not there, our job is to make you feel like you are still taking part in the action! Watch this space, and stay tuned to our social media!

If you’re not already following Daily Duranie on Facebook , @dailyduranie on Twitter, and dailyduranie on Instagram, what are you waiting for? Add us, and stay up to the minute with our Vegas adventure!!

-R

Holding Back Now Friends of Mine

They said they were friends of mine

Hey, did you know that Duran Duran played a show in Miami last night? It feels GOOD to be able to type that sort of statement once again! Writing Daily Duranie is something I thoroughly enjoy each day, but writing blogs while the band is touring is extra special.

We wouldn’t be Daily Duranie if we didn’t write about the show. Granted, I wasn’t there in person. Instead, I sat on Twitter, waiting to hear the latest from the crowd, and of course – I couldn’t help but be curious about the set list.

Silly lies, don’t have to advertise

If you read yesterday’s blog, you’ll know that I specifically wrote that I liked surprises. I didn’t need to know every song on the set list. There was no reason for me to know every last costume or detail. I even said surprises are good.

Well, I lied.

Something happened to me last night, and you know – maybe it happened to you as well. Read on and see if it sounds at all familiar. I finished writing the blog, did some housework and spent some time with my daughter. Sometime around oh, say 4:30 here, I realized it was 7:30. I thought about the show happening that night and thought I should just take a quick peek at Twitter. Why not?

Said they were passing time

About that time, I saw a tweet from Dom about the show, and then a couple of tweets from friends in line, and then I put down my phone. I got back to folding laundry and other mundane chores. As I walked out from my bedroom back to the kitchen, I saw that it was then about 5:45. 8:45 in Miami. Hmm. They must be getting very close to showtime. I thought – why not take a super quick scroll through Twitter, then I will start dinner?

I picked up my phone, and immediately saw tweets from the show. Friends and I continued kibitzing over possible opening songs. I looked up from my phone and it was just after 6 my time. Well, they should be onstage soon, right? People from the show started sending less-than-happy texts about how it was getting late and the band wasn’t on stage yet. I looked at the clock and it was now 6:25. Not only was I late in even STARTING dinner, but in my head – the band should have been on around 9pm.

What are you waiting for?

(I found out later that the band wasn’t scheduled to be onstage until about 9:30 so they weren’t late – seems to me though that DDHQ could say when the band is taking the stage so that people would know and not complain – but maybe that’s just not possible. I don’t know. I’m just a blogger!)

Right about then, DDHQ posted a picture taken from the show with the caption, “Ready?” Interestingly, the photo had a backdrop with what looked like three stained glass windows in the background. Hmm…what could THAT be about, I wondered. I sat back down in one of our barstools by our kitchen island just as the tweets started. “OMG – it’s NEW RELIGION!!”

I jumped up, pumping my fist into the air. Yes!!! New addition to the setlist! While I was thrilled to see something new added, I wondered if this was the song John mentioned that hadn’t been played since the 80’s. Uh, no, I thought. I’ve seen them do that song live. Dang it – I hope that’s not it!!

Georgie Davies is coming out

Even with that niggling thought, I was thrilled. Who cares, when it’s all said and done? I went to put my phone down, figuring I’d see the posted set list in the morning and all would have been fine. Except.

Yes, except…my watch started tapping my wrist pretty continuously, and every time it did, I checked it. I’d see that it was a new tweet about the set list, the costumes, the visuals, the crowd…and I just couldn’t be stopped.

I threw dinner on the stove. “Spaghetti night it is!” I announced proudly to no one in particular. My phone or watch would buzz, I’d read the next song, tweet about that, and before you know it – it was already 7:30. Husband walked through the door and caught me red handed, tweeting away.

It’s time that you were told

“That band just played Seventh Stranger for the first time since the 1980s!!!” I announced proudly, as he looked around pointedly to see if dinner was anywhere near ready. (It was. I can multitask, you know.). As we were eating rather casually, I sat with phone nearby, reading every single addition to the set list.

Not only was there New Religion and Seventh Stranger (which really – even hearing that would be a triumph), but Tempted and Friends of Mine were played as well. As the show ended and DDHQ posted their thanks and goodbyes, I sent a little tweet their way.

“Now THAT was a set @duranduran!!”
You came to PLAY!!”


Why don’t they drop the bomb

Euphoria doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings last night, and I wasn’t even there. Instead, I was about 3,500 miles away, hanging out in my kitchen!

I sure am glad I stuck it out last year and didn’t do something stupid to myself. It isn’t easy to explain. I just know that I was already very excited to be able to go see the shows in Vegas yesterday afternoon, and today – I am over the moon. Not only am I excited to see friends, but I am very excited to see John, Roger, Simon, Nick and Dom. Even if the only way I see them, is from hundreds of feet away while they’re onstage.

It’s not just “the band” thing, either. It is knowing that I really work through some of the worst feelings I’ve ever had. I feel so much better now. I’m not a different person, but I’m in a much better place emotionally. Now, I get to celebrate. Trust me, I will be doing just that. If you happen to be in Vegas next week, I hope you’ll raise a glass or two with me.

I’m not too late

I finally did put my phone down at about 8:30 last night. The battery died, and my eyesight was as blurry as ever. It was a great night to be a Duranie.

I suspect it will not be the last time I feel that way.

-R

Pre-gaming the Pre-show and Other Delights!

I can hear the cracking sound

It is a SHOW DAY today, people!! Are you ready?!? By “you”, of course – I mean Duran Duran. I hope you’re ready! We – the fans of course – we’re born ready for this type of thing, right??

My apologies for the late blog. The smallest Rivera is settling into our new community by beginning a new school tomorrow morning. Today was an orientation day, and then tomorrow she gets thrown to the lions. Well, not really…but she will be one of just seven girls in her blended 4th and 5th grade class!

I was animatedly chatting with friends about the show this morning. We spent time debating set list possibilities, possible costuming, wondering what they might open and close with, and so on. The conversations were great. It all reminded me of just how much I enjoy talking about the music with other fans. It also vaguely seemed like something else I couldn’t quite put my finger on right away. Then it hit me.

Some fans enjoy chatting about the shows, the costumes, visuals and even the lighting and sound. I don’t know of a lot of people outside of my small circle of Twitter pals that can spend a full-day going around and around about what song Duran Duran might use as an opener. They will excitedly debate, citing historical choices and reason. Apparently, we can ponder and question possible choices like nobody’s business. It is all very similar to watching a pregame show before a big game, like the Super Bowl. While the conversations can be very serious, there’s also an air of humor surrounding much of it. We keep it light, friendly, and fun.

Something else

For fans, the concerts ARE our Super Bowls, aren’t they? The lucky part is that the winners happen to be the fans. Moreover, we win every single time! Not a bad thing, in my mind. This being Reason #257 why I choose concerts over sports, every single time.

The key is never allowing those expectations to ruin a good time. Sure, you bought VIP tickets, but while you expected to have an unobstructed view, instead your seats are way off to the side, or are facing speakers…or two very large men end up in front of you, ruining any chance of actually being able to see more than a tiny sliver of the stage at any one time. Any one of those mishaps are enough to put a damper on joy of the evening, and might even have the potential to ruin the night…if you allow.

You could cut the atmosphere

I draw from personal experience here. There have been times when I have dissected a show within inches of it’s life before it has even taken place. I’ve announced what songs I hope to hear, and what songs I hope they leave off the set list. My friends and I have analyzed every single part of their live show, I’ve noticed when the onstage choreography seems more rehearsed than organic. I’ve had the greatest of expectations, only to arrive at the show and be thwarted, whether due to crowds, tall people, or even bad seats, right alongside my own bad attitude.. At some shows I’ve let those things bother me to the point of being angry. At others, I learned from my past mistakes, shrugged it off, and danced like nobody was watching.

When it all comes down to it, I believe there has to be a balance. Talking about everything from set list to shows, to upcoming albums is exciting to me, but I also like the element of surprise.

I don’t need to know every subtle nuance, or recognize every time Roger should twirl his stick, or when Dom should cross the stage. Knowing the set list in advance of my shows doesn’t help to entice me (although admittedly, it is very hard to stay away from such things online!), and I don’t need to hear who has already taken photos with whom or how so-and-so isn’t going to be staying at the hotel or so forth because they flew on to the next stop and so on. Knowing future collaborators or producers isn’t a worry I’m willing to take on. I might comment on it, but worry? Nah. Not worth it. Let the music speak for itself. Balance is a good thing. Surprises can be nice.

Things are hoting up in here

So, over the next week or two as I talk Duran Duran, whether as a pre-show commentator, or “Monday Morning Quarterback” (so to speak!) I also will keep managing those expectations. As John Taylor says (and if I were a tattoo gal – which I am not – I would have this in tiny script around one my ankles just to remind me) “expectations are simply future resentments”.

-R



Sound of Celebration: Welcome to the Newbies out there!

the lights turn on

It is a strange feeling when you know Duran Duran is actually in the same country and that your friends are traveling (or have already traveled) to see them. Every once in a while, I’ll sneak a peek on Twitter, just to see if anyone recognizable has posted a photo or anything. (Thank you to Anna Ross for playing along nicely!)

I’m excited because I know that next Thursday I’ll be making my way to Vegas for their shows over the weekend. It also feels like the next week is going to take forever to get through. Then again, I have kind of a lot to do between now and then so…I’d better get to it!

and still they come

As difficult as it is for me to still believe sometimes, there are Duranlive first-timers amongst us, running rampant in the public! I joke, but I also love running into new concert-goers, whether online or in person. They are typically so darn joyful, their excitement is palatable and contagious all at once. I live and breathe for that joy! This weekend, Amanda gave excellent advice for GA shows. They can be tricky, and honestly require their own play book, in my opinion. Even seated show attendees could use some advice, though.

First off, I’m no expert. Really. There are many, many Duranies out there who have gone to far more shows than the fifty I can count over the years. Fifty shows isn’t very many when you consider that this is #DD40. On that same token, I believe about 40 or so of those shows have taken place since the year 2004, which means I’m not only NOT an expert, I’m also probably a bit nutty, and damn gleeful about it.

That said, I am 100% quirky and proud of it. I spend a lot of my time before and after these shows just people watching. Seeing fans mingle, observing families taking it all in, I even gauge the age of the audience. I love seeing how people interact (and yeah, I pay special attention to the known Duranies because, dang it – you’re a super-special sort. Like me!). All of that observation over the years has taught me a few things.

we come here calling

First of all, if you’re new to this whole thing: welcome. I know we’re a daunting group. Overwhelming at the very least! My advice is really simple: JUST HAVE FUN. If you’re not on social media, you should try it. Twitter, for example, doesn’t have to be horribly serious or time committing. It’s a quick and easy way to meet people – it reminds me a lot of the days on message boards, because there’s true banter between fans. It sometimes takes a while to find us, but we’re there. Follow @duranduran, check out the people who seem to tweet things you might be interested in. Some like to talk about band members, others like to discuss the music, still others talk about all of it. Try it, you might like it!

My hope in suggesting to meet other fans online, a newbie can find a group to hang with, both before and after the show. Life is way too short and Duran Duran concerts are far too much fun, to go it alone. Connecting with other fans is one of the very best parts of this community. It is how Amanda and I met, and it is how I’ve met some of the closest friends I have over the years. One of the goals we’ve had for Daily Duranie in the past has been to bring fans together and allow them to connect. This past year, I know I’ve strayed a bit from that path, but I’m getting back to it, little by precious little.

to gather here

My other piece of advice, which might be coming in too late for some of you – is to travel in early. What I mean by that is, if you’re going to a show on a Friday, get there on Thursday. Why? Two reasons really. One, giving yourself a bit of a cushion is far better on the nerves when a flight is unexpectedly canceled, or weather becomes a problem.

The second reason is that a lot of times, people will meet up the day before. Amanda and I have been known to plan parties the night before a show for fans to meet up. This time in Vegas we don’t really have anything planned, but I have seen other groups of people mentioning getting together that night. I can promise we will be out and about, but we agreed to give ourselves a break this time and let others do the planning.

we’ll light up the land

When it comes time for the show, even at a seated venue, I’d tell you over and over again to wear shoes you’re going to be comfortable standing in for hours. Some may disagree with me, and that’s fine, but trust me when I say that the band isn’t going to see your shoes. They don’t care. They want to see you up and dancing. Impress yourself and don’t worry about anybody else is my motto. During the hours before and after the show, you’re going to be walking, standing and talking. Be comfortable so that you can enjoy it all! Cute and comfortable IS a thing, whether that’s in heels, flats, trainers or something else entirely!

So when you see me wearing flat shoes or even flip-flops to a show (I’ve done it before and will definitely do it again!), know that I am totally 100% happy and confident wearing them, and I don’t care about what anyone else thinks. I’ve done the heels before, no thanks!

can you hear the planet roaring

My opinion is simply that if you don’t come out of a Duran Duran show sweaty and completely elated – you’ve done it wrong. Nobody should be sitting through a Duran show if you’re physically capable of standing. Otherwise, chair dancing in whatever way you need is totally a thing too. Go for it!

There are plenty of subtle nuances to fandom. There are plenty of unwritten social rules and slippery slopes, I suppose. Sometimes, one can get so distracted by the minutia of what to say, how to say it, what to ask, what NOT to ask, that they forget to have fun. That’s the bottom line though. HAVE FUN. Smile. Enjoy the moment. I can promise that the 120 minutes that the band is on stage (give or take a few either way) will fly by in the blink of an eye. For those precious two hours, live in just that little bit. Experience the music with an open heart and mind, and let it take you away from the troubles of real life. Allow your heart to swell full of gratitude for being there to enjoy every single note. You won’t regret it.

See you at the shows!

-R


It Was Thirty Years Ago (not Today)…

Brothers and sisters let me hear it

Last Friday, I had my own Duraniversary. Thirty years prior, I attended my very first Duran Duran concert at the Universal Amphitheater (which has since been torn down to make way for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood). I don’t normally think about that particular date, but I was flipping my personalized calendar that Amanda makes for me each year from one month to the next and saw the date listed. Wow. Thirty years has flown by.

I can still remember our seats…in the second to last row of the amphitheater. No front row or VIP back then! My outfit that night was new, complete with shoes that ended up giving me blisters. (I don’t know why I remember that so well!) My boyfriend had kindly bought the tickets and I was so excited to see Duran Duran that night. I’d been a fan since junior high, and it wasn’t until about eight years later that I finally was able to go to see them in concert. I felt very lucky to be in that audience!

So glad you came along

When the band took the stage, I felt a mixed bag of emotions. I was thrilled to see them – I could feel the butterflies churning away in my belly, but I also felt just the tiniest bit sad. Roger and Andy weren’t there, and while I still liked the Big Thing album, it didn’t have the same feeling for me as Rio or Seven and the Ragged Tiger. I mean, those albums were the collective epitome of Duran Duran back in the early 80s. That is also the period of time that occupies most of my memories of Duran Duran fandom when I was an awkward preteen.

I wavered back and forth between elation and that feeling of “oh, I just wish I’d been able to see them at the Forum on the Sing Blue Silver tour!” I distinctly remember forcing those thoughts aside that night because I didn’t want to miss out on the show happening right in front of me. There was no point in looking back. I was in college by then, living at the dorm on campus. My childhood bedroom with the yellow bedspread and “Summertime Green” painted walls peeking between Duran Duran posters were just memories by then. My parents had moved just after I graduated, and my new room at home didn’t have so much as a single pinup on the wall. So much had changed, yet my love for the band was still there…it was just…different.

This time you won’t be wrong

In a lot of ways, it is hard for me to believe that happened thirty years ago. It feels like a long time ago, but thirty years? Then again, the reunion (I’m going to age everyone here…) was announced nearly 18 years ago now. Better not blink.

Here I am now, getting ready for another couple of shows, thirty years later. I have to admit, I never thought much about whether or not Duran Duran would still be around in 2019. That’s kind of the beauty of youth. It was so easy to live precisely in that moment. I didn’t think about what was going to happen next, or if I’d see the band again. I can say that I appreciate seeing the band more now than I probably did at 18, I just wish I had that same endless energy!!

-R

You Can Still Be My Icon

Good morning, world! I hope everyone is having a good start to their respective week. I’m finally able to breathe fairly well again after battling a lingering cold/flu thing, so things must be looking up!

My weekend was rainy and wet, although I did get out of the house on Saturday night to go see a concert. This was our first “date night” in months, and we went to Rava Winery to see a Beatles tribute band called Hard Days Night.

First of all, I’m from So Cal, and I’m used to lights, and plenty of them. Cars, buildings, street lights, traffic lights….light pollution!! One of the things that I’m having a tougher time getting used to here out in the country is that there are relatively few of those lights! It’s harder to see at night, and so while we were driving in what felt like the middle of nowhere, through rain, to get to this winery – I wondered if we’d A. get there in one piece and B. make it back home at the end of the night. (spoiler: we were fine!)

Now is the time to come out

When we got to the winery, it was sprinkling, but my fears about being the only people showing up to the gig were unfounded. There were plenty of people there. I noticed a few things about the crowd. To begin with, Walt and I were on the younger side compared to many. I don’t know if that surprised me that much, but it was worth noting. I went dressed pretty casually (as is the usual with me), but a LOT of people dressed up in their 60s-era finest attire: from go-go boots for the women, to bright floral shirts for the guys. The other thing I noticed was that everyone, and I mean everyone, seemed to know one another. I spent the hour or so before the concert just watching everyone greet one another.

Again, being from Orange County (and there is a point to this so stick with me here), I don’t know very many people here yet. When we go to most concerts down south, it is rare that I know anyone unless I run into a neighbor, which almost never happened even when I’d be at a local grocery store!

Come out of the shadows

As the band took the stage, I noticed a sizable dance floor and commented to my husband that we were not going to be out there for all to see. He agreed, as he was nursing a sore back anyway. I figured no one would use it. I was dead wrong.

Within minutes, the floor was packed, and this crowd of primarily 50-60 somethings were out on the floor, dancing and reveling the night away. Granted, a lot of the women were the ones either dragging their men out on to the floor, or they were dancing with groups of friends while the men snuck more glasses of wine back at the tables with their friends, but it was fun to watch! It reminded me of something so very familiar….

Invariably, when I see family or friends outside of my Duran Duran “family”, the questions I get range from: “Aren’t you getting a little old for concerts?” to “When are you too old to be a fan?” I have to tell you, no matter how well I prepare myself for the questions, I always feel uncomfortable by them. What is the right answer? What can I say that will stop the conversation in its tracks so we can talk about something else? Why do I always feel like I’m wrong for having fun?? No matter what I say each time, I end up feeling icky.

Out on the edge

Well, Saturday night reminded me that age shouldn’t be a factor at all. The table directly in front of us had a group of probably 10 couples, and they were easily in their mid to late 60s. They were locals, and judging from the very loud conversation amongst the men, they were ranch and small orchard/winery owners. I heard one of them comment that they were “checking out the competition” that night as they drank their bottle of Cabernet. I’ve never seen people party it up harder in the first hour they were at a show than this group! They downed bottles of wine faster than I drink vodka tonics. It was a sight to behold. The dancing and laughing reminded me very much of some of the Duran shows I’ve attended.

The way this concert was set up, the band took a short break after about a 45-minute set for a costume change. At that point, a lot of people made their way back out into the rain. I was a little surprised to see that about half of the table in front of us left at that point, citing that they had early mornings ahead of them. Even so, I’d say about 2/3 of the audience stayed behind, and finished out the evening. The dancing didn’t slow down, nor did the imbibing.

My face in the mirror

As the show ended, and we made our way out into the now-pounding rain (I need a better raincoat, apparently!), I thought about aging. I can see the years whenever I look into a mirror. It’s getting more difficult to ignore the lines on my face, or the way my body aches after a full day of weeding or raking. Age is just a number, though. It shouldn’t stop anyone from wanting to have a night out with friends, or enjoying good music, or even cheering on a fantastic band.

My age is definitely not going to stop me from having a great time in a few weeks!

-R

A Silhouette Begins the Show

So, show of hands….how many of our readers are at home because of snow/cold days?!? I hear that Chicago is going to be colder than the Antarctic this week. Amanda has been telling me about forecasts that have Madison’s wind chill at -50 (Fahrenheit) or more. That’s ridiculous!! I hope everyone stays warm!

I apologize for the lateness of the blog. I used to have this routine down – I’d be up by 7, blogging by 8. Nowadays, I’m dragging myself out of bed at 8:30 and I’m hard pressed to get the blog finished by noon my time. It’s not a great routine yet, but I’m working on it.

A fog is lifting

I came upon something today that reminded me about Reportage. It was a picture of what was obviously a fan-made cover for the album, and it was in turn on the cover a book titled Bootlegs. I’d never seen a cover of any kind for the album until today. That said, as far as I’m aware, no copies exist outside of the hands of the band. Naturally though, this photo got a few of us talking.

It would seem that very few fans have heard Reportage. Most everyone else continues to speak of it as though it is this hidden treasure. To find it is akin with finding the Golden Ticket. I think the expectations of the album have likely been inflated beyond maximum pressure. Those that have listened are usually quick to downplay, and not much of real substance is explained beyond a perfunctory, “Yeah, it wasn’t bad. You could probably find it if you wanted.”

Could I find it? Really? More importantly – do I really want to find it?

In the shadows

These are questions I was asking myself this morning, as I chatted back and forth with friends on Twitter. There are real collectors in the Duraniverse. They are people I very much admire because they work hard to find that obscure poster from 1981 or a specific promo copy of “Hallucinating Elvis”. I have a great deal of respect for people like that, and I tend to learn a lot when speaking with them too. There is a vast amount of expertise to be gained from the collectors amongst us! Me? Nah. I don’t spend a lot of time hunting for albums in old vinyl shops (although I do pop in and check the “D” section from time to time), I don’t hunt online for posters on eBay. I don’t have all of the tour books, pins, or even t-shirts. I do like knowing that I’ve heard all of the variations of music, though.

When it comes to unreleased music though, I’m not sure how I feel. On one hand, I love hearing how Duran Duran went from Point A to Point B. Hearing demos is one way of audibly experiencing that journey. I enjoy having that understanding, because when it comes down to it – I’m still a musician at heart, and I dearly love being able to hear the progression of a song from reasonable beginning to completion. On the other hand though, as I said this morning, if the band wanted me/us to hear it – I would think they’d just let us have it. So to get it from some other means seems, well, not right.

Lit by scandal

As my friend said in reply – I’m no goody-goody here. It doesn’t seem right or fair to the band to get hold of something that they weren’t ready to put out themselves. It is, of course, very different if John or Nick said “Hey, why don’t you take a listen?” But to just leak an album and broadcast its existence wouldn’t be right. As we know, that hasn’t happened with Reportage¬†anyway. I mean, at least not that I’m aware. In some ways I still wonder if I’m among the last remaining DD fans that hasn’t heard it.

I suppose I haven’t really hunted much for Reportage. Several years ago I did try to sniff it out online, but came up empty. After that, I kind of let it go, only to be reminded of its existence every now and again. I’ll think of it for a few minutes, and then I’m off again. I would have figured it would have been leaked by now and be commonplace. It would seem that this is one of the better-kept “secrets” in our fandom, at least from my perspective!

So while I suppose I’m still curious about what it sounded like, I’m also more interested in what the band is working on now, post-Paper Gods. Hearing Reportage¬†now would be like looking back, when really all I want to do is keep moving ahead.

-R


I’ve Been Fighting All the Way

In a month, I’ll be in Las Vegas.

I can’t decide if I’m ready as-is, or if I should immediately resort to a month-long fasting exercise. It is a joke to me now, but in the past…I may have been at least half-serious. It’s weird, because I don’t mind admitting that my prep for previous tours included being semi-obsessed with making sure I looked my best. I worried about how I looked to other people. I would shop for new outfits, get my hair done well in advance, go have a pedicure, and of course – I would make certain I was at fighting weight. (or dancing weight, as the case may be)

I’m really not sure what “my best” means these days. Honestly, “alive” seems like a pretty good goal to me. My friend Lori and I were having drinks (training) and dinner last night (can I just say how wonderful it is to actually LIVE near a good friend?!?) and as I sat there, thinking about the upcoming weekend, I realized that for the very first time that I can remember, I am not worried about what I look like.

I mean sure, I need to lose a few pounds. I ALWAYS need to lose a few pounds. I’m not perfect, and I’m not a size 2, either. My weight is a struggle. The number on the scale is in direct correlation with how much stress I’m under at the time, and what my blood pressure is like. I have never been thin, though. I’m just average to “I’ve got a little extra padding because I fall down a lot!”, so this struggle isn’t new. The weird thing is, for the first time in forever, I don’t mind what I see when I look in the mirror. I’m satisfied. Happy, even. For me…that’s bizarre. Good, but bizarre.

There have been moments where I’ve wondered if I’m even that excited to go see Duran Duran, because I haven’t been overly obsessed with what I’m going to wear or what I’m going to pack. But then, I’ll hear a Duran-song or I’ll think about seeing them walk on stage and I can feel a little bit of that familiar giddiness. Yep, excitement is still in there. I just know I’m going to roll on into Vegas, and I’m going to have a good time with my friends. I guess my goal is to be happy with what I see in the mirror, rather than worry about what anyone else is going to see when I walk into a room.

Insecurity is a strange thing. Admitting that I have been insecure about myself more often than not leaves me pretty vulnerable, I suppose. I know it would be fairly easy for people to dismiss me because of that imperfection. Insecurity isn’t attractive, but I’m betting that more of us suffer from it than we individually might believe.

In the past, I worried about how posting that sort of thing might make me look to readers. The funny (well, not so funny) thing is that once you admit that you were well on the way to being suicidal last year – you kind of don’t give a shit about what people say or think anymore. Once you’ve gotten through that particular alley of darkness, you’re so thankful to see the sun again that you don’t want to waste a single second on people who don’t get it. Yeah, I’ve been insecure. My validation came from other people, not from myself, or from within. Oh well!

It can’t possibly be age that has forced my change in outlook and attitude. That would be crazy! I think though that the past year, feeling so incredibly low about everything, and then coming out of that, has given me a different prospective. Things I thought were important before really might not be, after all. I’m learning to say “Oh well” a lot. Truth is, I never want to feel like I did last year ever again. No matter what.

I think back to something that a dear friend of mine told me while we were traveling in 2012. She reminded me to never let anyone take my bliss away. I think about that statement nearly every single day. She probably doesn’t even remember saying the words to me, but I do. I’ve carried them all this time, and they’ve proven very useful lately.

Don’t get me wrong, I still have a long way to go, I suppose. It is easy to fall back into old habits. I am sure I’ll still swoon if a band member even sort of appears to look my way. There’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll smile at the band and welcome smiles in return. I mean, let’s not get ridiculous here.

-R


It’s a Lonely Burning Question

Our little corner of the world is certainly small, isn’t it? The longer I am a participant in the fan community for Duran Duran, the more I realize just how tiny it really is.

Unlike most other bands I go to see in concert, with Duran Duran I tend to be more involved. (Shocking, right?) I subscribe to their fan club (DuranDuranMusic), and I tend to buy VIP tickets to most shows because I’m greedy and I want the best seats. I can’t lie about that. The thing is, there are quite a few of you out there – many of you reading, actually – that are right there with me!

I am I myself alone

I don’t make it my business to introduce myself to the “who’s-who” in the fan community. I’m not buddies with each and every person who seems to be attached to the band in one sense or another. I’m not somebody who will go bouncing up to someone I’d call a “well-known fan” just because I recognize them and want to make nice. That’s not me. I hate approaching people as it is, unless I’m comfortable and actually know them.

There’s no way I’m going to just insert myself into someone’s evening just because I happen to know they’re friends with a roadie, married to someone in management, or is actually on “the team”. I would be a horrible politician, and it is very obvious that I’m not the greatest at making connections. All one has to do is look at my LinkedIn to know that I fail horribly at networking. I always assume I’m putting someone out, or that I’d be bothering them. I guess I’ve mostly stayed to myself, as much as one can when they write a familiar blog, I guess??

The thing is, and I’m going to be brutally open about this – the “It” list of fans, you know the ones – they tend to be at most of the shows, they always seem to know where and when to be, and how to get places that normal, everyday fans don’t – aren’t really on our reader list. At least, not that *I* know of. They’re not usually people who will even admit to reading this, or any fan blog for that matter. I suppose we might be a bit too pedestrian, maybe too wide-eyed, and probably far too “Fan” like. With a capital F. I get it.

Got to show now, got to move on

In a lot of ways, I’m more of a watcher than a participant. I remember a number of years back when I was in Chicago for a show. A group of us met up afterward and walked to a local bar. When we got there, the place was packed, to the point where we were turned away at the door because it had reached capacity. We stood outside for a bit, trying to decide where to go next. As I glanced towards the windows of the bar, I saw somebody inside. She was waving at me and kind of laughing. I could guess what she was laughing about. There I was, along with a small group of others, proverbially on the outside looking in. She was IN, along with several members of the band, I might add, and we were most definitely OUT. Weakly, I waved back and tried not to feel like a complete loser. Story of my life.

At every single show I attend, I’ll see quite a few of the same people. Over and over again. I silently marvel at how they’re able to be everywhere. It isn’t jealousy as much as it’s curiosity. I know how tough it is for me to be at the several shows I can attend each tour, and I can promise that from here on out – it will be far less than it was during Paper Gods. (Or so my husband assures) How do they manage?!? Even more so, I’ll watch other fans flock to these people, befriend them, and situate themselves near them. I don’t even know their names or who they are beyond their faces, and yet the fan-community-at-large are already Facebook friends with them, at the very least! On one hand, I’m surprised I don’t know everyone’s name by now, I guess. On the other, I am not one of those super outgoing and bubbly people.

Puts my faith in none of the above

The kicker for me, is when I’m online and happen to be reading a Facebook post or reading through a Twitter thread. As I go through it, I realize that most all of my friends are actually connected, to some of those people I mentioned above. They’re not just “social media” connected, but obviously know them. Or maybe I’m surprised by people who have not really been active in the fan community for very long (not that they haven’t been fans – that’s different), but are very connected to the “A list” of fans and people in the Duran Duran circle. Perhaps I’m shocked when I realize that the reason why so-and-so IS at all of the shows is because she’s married to somebody who works for the band. It could be a million other scenarios, because for as long as I’ve been in the fan community, or have been actively blogging – I know very little about the people within.

I know how people behave as a group. The trends and patterns of behavior are easy for me to recognize. I can, and have helped put together some really fun meet-ups and parties over the years. But do I really KNOW people?

Probably not so much. It is strange how one can blog for eight years and yet really still be on the outside looking in, isn’t it?

-R

A Look Back at Girl Panic and Singles in 2011

I came by invitation

Remember the days when we’d hear of new singles? The internet – or at least our little Duran Duran corner of it – would be ablaze with excitement? Those days are hopefully coming just around the corner again, my friends.

I believe it was mentioned that the band would reconvene in the studio in the spring. (hopefully they do a better job of “hiding” this time than they did in December!)

That timeframe gave them a few weeks to themselves this month. Then they’ll have time to prepare and do the shows in February. Then perhaps they’ll be inspired once they settle back into life at home. I am still betting that we’ll hear new music in 2020, despite what DDHQ may have tweeted. Good music cannot be rushed. I can’t imagine that the band was in the studio long enough during November to release an album in eight or nine months. It’s possible, just not probable! I’ll wait patiently…and I won’t even go visit them at the yet-to-be-found studio if it helps! <wink>

General Chelsea mayhem

On this date in 2011, it was announced that “Girl Panic” would be the next single from All You Need is Now. I can remember taking part in a spirited debate on social media regarding that very announcement. Were singles even necessary? What purpose did a single serve in 2011, anyway? Why choose “Girl Panic”? These were all viable questions that came up back then, and they still make a good case today.

I am not sure that “Girl Panic” really got any sort of radio-time. There were two times that I know “All You Need is Now” was played before it dropped off of the radar for the LA area radio stations, but “Girl Panic”? I don’t know that I ever heard it, which is sad, really. There didn’t seem to be any sort of market or proper channel for Duran Duran, and that holds true even today.

I know I’m going nowhere

At least in Los Angeles, unless you’re U2, or The Rolling Stones, or maybe even Madonna…it is tough to find a station willing to play your new music. There are stations to play your music from the 80s and even the 90s, but new music? It’s really tough to say, and honestly the answer seems to change each week as Arbitron ratings are released. In this moment, there are two “Alternative” stations in Los Angeles, and both of them lean “male” friendly. (read: they’re not playing a lot of bands like Duran Duran, instead leaning towards Nirvana, Green Day, RHCP and even bands like The Killers, Foo Fighters and Linkin Park) While the characterization is 100% offensive to me personally, it also explains a lot about Duran Duran’s marketing as of late.

Anyone with a decent memory (I’m hoping that covers most of us), should recall during the promotion for Paper Gods, that the band relied heavily upon the use of how much their audience had changed to include males during their interviews. If we weren’t hearing about the guys in the audience, we were hearing about how YOUNG their audiences are now.

That was not mentioned by chance, my friends.

Clever words I never said

It is unfortunate, but even in 2015, it was better to have young males in your audience than hoards of women wiling to spend big dollars to be there. Don’t believe me? Excellent! Go and do some simple research on radio markets. See what and whom the stations in large metropolitan areas are catering to, and how. It took me all of five minutes to read up on the Los Angeles area.

I think this goes without saying, but just in case – I want to make it clear that I’m not really blaming Duran Duran here. It is the system, and I can’t help but understand what DDHQ (management) was trying to do. It IS a bit funny when you think about just how contrived it all really was. And is.

A crush panic

In 2011, Duran Duran tried to market a song about women being willing to fall all over themselves for them, to men. The video for the song was shot in a fancy hotel with supermodels acting as the band, while the band themselves were filmed in secondary-type shots as butlers, photographers, chauffeurs, and baggage carriers with women (who were all models of course) “in a panic” over them, complete with over-the-top parties, 1980’s-volumes of alcohol, and other sorts of debauchery. I can still remember reading comments regarding the disappointment of the video by fans – who in fact were still primarily female.

Don’t get me wrong, here. I actually liked the video, and felt it was very well done. The symbolism was hysterical, and I loved the cheekiness. I felt that the story of the video was smart, and perhaps people didn’t pick up on the subtle points they were trying to make. In hindsight though, it is also terribly easy to see what, or whom, they were trying to appeal to…without turning off anyone else in the process.

…and the title of the song was “Girl Panic”. Is that a dream for most men, then? Gee.

You just let it happen

Ultimately though, I still need to understand what the point of releasing a single really is, today. While I recognize the same can be said about albums in general (on platforms like iTunes – where individual songs can be purchased, what good is an album?), I think at least the purpose of an album can be to group songs together under a common umbrella or theme. The same doesn’t exactly hold true for a single.

It all makes me wonder what the future has in store. What about you?

-R