Tag Archives: Duranies

Daily Duranie Guest Blog – In Person at the Mazda Unveiling

We are overjoyed to have a live “on the scene” special correspondent to share the in-person details of the Mazda Unveiling. Enjoy! -R


By Diane Blardony

What?! A contest for a private corporate gig that’s actually taking place in the Bay Area and not in New York? Talk about a once in a lifetime contest and event! I eagerly sent off my email to DDM and crossed my fingers and toes. The wait was going to kill me.

I found out I was one of only five lucky winners during my son’s first wrestling tournament. I was in the stands and happened to check my e-mail. I saw the heading, “Congratulations – WINNER – Monterey” and jumped up off of my seat and screamed. Thank goodness the gymnasium noise level was loud enough to cover my outburst of joy. My hands were shaking and my husband looked at me funny. He didn’t even know I had entered the contest. I mean, why should I tell him? What were my chances of actually winning anyway?

I suddenly realized I had a problem on my hands. I have way too many local Duranie friends. How could I choose one as my guest? It was a lose-lose situation. I hastily decided to take the non-confrontational route and I called up my non-Duranie friend, Melissa. She came of age during the 90’s so her “Duran Duran” equivalent was New Kids on the Block. Heck, she even named her first born after Jordan Knight. She was definitely familiar with “fandom”! I blew through the exciting events in 2.2 seconds and demanded that she be my guest. She happily agreed to go and the countdown began.

Talk about a top-secret event. Mazda successfully pulled it off with flying colors. The only information we were given in advance was the location of where we were to park (at the Bayonet Golf Course) and that we should be ready to board a shuttle at 4:30 for a 4:45 departure.

Melissa and I arrived at the golf course in plenty of time and met up with a few one of the other winners and her guest. Despite being early, we decided to check-in with Mazda in the hopes of boarding an earlier shuttle since we were going crazy trying to figure out this secret venue. After showing our ID’s, we were each given a “Zoom Zoom” wristband which we were told not to remove at any time. It was our pass in to the event upon arrival and it was also good for a maximum of three mixed drinks. We boarded the waiting shuttle and we were off!

During the approximately 12-minute ride we all pondered the event location. The Monterey Bay Aquarium? The beach? A private residence? We pulled up at Monterey Bay Air and Spaceport and we all giggled with excitement. Talk about swanky!

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View from the shuttle upon arrival

We were greeted on a carpeted walkway by security checking our wristbands and were told to have a good time! We walked past a Mazda Miata timeline spanning 25 years and were greeted with a Mazda wall perfect for a photo-op. There were also waiters walking around offering up appetizers such as stuffed mushrooms and other delicacies.

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Melissa and I

We turned the corner and were immediately impressed by the transformation of this airspace into a classy yet inviting atmosphere. There were three large, full bars interspersed among the space along with white plush couches with coffee tables and areas where you could also sit at a circular bar table with white leather bar stools. Canister lights hung from open metal pavilions and shiny, current model Mazda Miatas were on display at the two back corners. At all perpendicular sides of the venue were grand buffets. The first was a taco bar complete with three chicken, steak or jumbo shrimp to choose from. There was any kind of tortilla or taco shell you could want and fresh guacamole, real queso and three different varieties of salsa. The second buffet was filled with five different kinds of flatbread pizza complete with a pizza oven baking it all fresh on the spot. The third buffet served crab sliders, calamari and gelato. Honestly, I didn’t even get to the fourth buffet which I think served burgers.

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Me at the taco bar (Photo cred: Steven Wayne)

There was also dozens of bars at the ready. My friend and I bellied up to the large square bar in the center and noticed dozens of pre-poured wine glasses filled with higher-end red and white wines with the vintages on display. There was also very refreshing-looking cocktails at the ready. We asked one of the several bartenders, each anxious to attend to your need, what that particular drink entailed. He explained it was a grapefruit-infused tequila cocktail but he was also happy to make any mixed cocktail we could dream up.

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Our happy bartender!


My friends and I immediately ordered a round of Cosmopolitans at which point he punched a hole in each of our wristbands. We decided to head to the bar tables closest to the hangar so that we could be ready to get in line at a moment’s notice. Unfortunately, there were at least three security guards in front of the hangar and there was a black curtain at the entrance so you couldn’t peek inside.

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

We all decided to take advantage of the buffet-style dinner and enjoy our drinks. The consensus was that everything we tried was delicious and who was ready for Round Two of cocktails?

The crowd ranged from auto press to auto dealers and Miata enthusiasts who were lucky enough to get a hold of one of these golden tickets. Attire ranged from khakis and dress shirts to nice dresses to trendy concert outfits. People obviously were here for the 2016 Miata unveiling, NOT to see Duran Duran.

Score for the Duranies!

At about 5:30 we noticed that some of the Mazda enthusiasts were lining up in front of the hangar so to the queue we went. Within minutes we were allowed in and we ran like kids around the back side of the raised platform that took up the entire back half of the hangar and we came upon a triangular stage about 5 feet, 2 inches high. I didn’t quite know where to go in the chaos as the right side of the stage was roped off with an rectangular platform so we headed to the left side of the stage. When I found myself standing in front of John’s microphone (not a bad thing!) I realized that the tip of the triangle was technically the center of the stage but I sort of liked where we were standing. I had plenty of room to dance!

At 6:00 sharp one of the Mazda head designers came out on stage and introduced the Miata. It came out of seemingly nowhere and on to the rectangular platform to my right. It was shiny red and quite sexy. He talked about the inspiration for the model and their connection to Duran Duran. They were both products of the 80’s and both reinvented themselves year after year and found major, continued success.

Of course, while the Mazda representative was speaking, I was keeping my eye on the left side of the stage where the band was waiting in the wings. I first caught a glimpse of Simon in a white shirt and black vest. Honestly, I didn’t even notice LeBeard was gone because I was trying to get the attention of my friends as to what I was seeing. Simon disappeared into the curtains and a moment later I noticed Nick donned in all black. He later stepped back and I could see he was going over the set list with someone.

The moment finally arrived. Duran Duran was introduced and out came the boys! Screams abounded, despite the amount of non-Duran enthusiasts. They opened with “A View to a Kill” and ended with” Rio.” There really were no surprises as far as the set list was concerned. I actually thought they were only going to play about 6-7 songs considering we were told by DDM that they were going to perform for approximately thirty minutes. So when they played nine songs total, I was beyond thrilled. They didn’t leave the stage for an encore but I was a bit surprised that they did a short band introduction during Girls on Film. For obvious reasons there was no, “Play the Fucking Bass, John” moment, but it wasn’t lost on me.

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I was a tad disappointed that the boys didn’t attempt to shake any hands. Roger did give his drumsticks to a Duranie but other than that, they simply waved and quickly walked off the stage.

We all stood there for a while reveling in the moment and talking about how great the band sounded (minus the obviously last-minute backup vocalist substituting for Anna and her reliance on the iPad attached to her microphone so she could follow along with the lyrics.) My friend, Melissa, announced that she was now officially a Duranie, she finds Simon LeBon sexy and when does their tour start?

We eventually made our way outside of the hangar and embraced the cool, coastal air and plopped ourselves down on one of the many couches at our disposal. Mazda, again, thought of everything: they had carts of cold bottled water ready for the guests upon exiting. These Mazda folks are professionals!

We hung out for about half an hour and decided to head back to the waiting shuttle since we all had 2 – 2 1/2 hour drives ahead of us back home with early wake-up calls the next morning. The shuttle promptly took us back to the parking lot where Mazda representatives again greeted us with smiles, asked us how if we enjoyed ourselves and gave us a flyer marking the Miata’s 25th anniversary and a guitar pick attached to it with “Mazda” printed on it.  Not a bad way to see the band after a prolonged absence!

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Diane Blardony lives in the California Bay area. She’s a home hospital teacher and mother of an almost-13-year-old son.  Her obsession with Duran Duran began in 183 when their videos began airing on MTV. Her first DD concert was in 1984 in Oakland, CA, during the filming of  theSing Blue Silver concert documentary. She’s been hooked ever since. She’s traveled across the country to see them perform if her teacher’s salary allows and has made a handful of close friends thanks to DDM and the band.

Are you ready for a meet-up??

One thing that Amanda and I have committed ourselves and Daily Duranie to doing is bringing fans together. Sometimes that means planning conventions. Other times it means getting together for dinner. Sometimes it’s a Duranie sleepover (That’s right…just imagine that potential chaos and debauchery.) Still other times it means simply using our blog to get the news out there, and that’s what we’re doing today!

As many fans should know by now, next Wednesday, the 10th of September, is practically another national holiday.  Why??  It’s the date of many Unstaged screenings across the country!

One of these screenings will take place in Durham, North Carolina at  the Wynnsong Theater (1807 Martin Luther King Jr. Pkwy), and a group of dedicated and FUN Duranies decided to put together a meet-up for dinner and drinks beforehand.  They’re meeting at G2B Gastropub at 5:00pm (EDT) in Durham. (3211 Shannon Rd, Suite 106).  If you’re interested and want to join in the fun – you’ll need to join their event page on Facebook.  If you’re nearby, don’t miss out!! Grab your tickets to the show (there are still plenty available as I understand) and meet some great new friends for dinner!  Trust me when I say this is a great group – we had a HUGE meet-up in Durham before the show at DPAC there in August of 2012 and it was a fantastic time!  I wish I could be there, but the commute from LA would be a bit long…. 🙂

With that in mind, if you have a Duranie event that you’d like us to help promote – drop us a line, we’re always willing to help!!


The (hidden) cost of a retweet

Amanda sent me the following this morning after seeing it on Twitter:

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So let me get this straight…we’re going to RETWEET something from Road and Track magazine about how that delightful human basically made his way through Duran fans – elbowing his way through as it says here – thus standing in front of the fans so that he could get a photo of the car? We’re happy about that? Is it meant to be funny??

Listen. I know social media. I get how it all works and that if you retweet, you’re liable to get more views of that tweet and it’s all a wonderfully delightful numbers game. I understand marketing and how you have to appeal to a huge audience base….but I dare say that you don’t do that by also potentially pissing off fans you’ve had for over thirty years.  As Amanda aptly put it, if I have 200 fans but piss off 50 and gain 40 from the retweet, I now only have 190 fans. That’s not the way you want it working…new fans or not.

Perhaps the person who retweeted this didn’t really see or read the tweet – that they merely saw the @duranduran part and thought this was a great opportunity to reach more people. Maybe so. Maybe they looked at it as Duran Duran had so many fans there that this person HAD to elbow their way through just to get a photo.  I can see that.  Heck, PROBABLY so.

The thing is, it still didn’t feel quite right to see that particular tweet noticed and RE-tweeted by the band. If it weren’t for the FANS of this band, there wouldn’t still BE a band.  After all, if you’re not making money at something – it’s just a hobby, and I think that Duran Duran works too damn hard and pays way too many people to call it a hobby these days. We fans are the people who buy their records, their concert tickets, their merch…and we support them. Some of us have spent a major portion of our lives supporting them. Let’s be a little bit more respectful of that at the cost of picking up an extra fan or two.

I don’t like calling out Duran’s management. I would actually LIKE to have a good working relationship with them because I think we can help them. I really do. Actually, I know we can. We know the fans, we UNDERSTAND the fans because we ARE fans. I wish the band would USE Daily Duranie  as a resource and work with us rather than try to ignore our existence. We aren’t looking to hurt the band. We’ve never once tried to scoop management on news items. We typically don’t spread rumor on purpose. We bring the fans together. We do meet ups to increase the amount of FUN fans have so that they stick around.  We spend a great deal of time and effort planning conventions to keep the party going for everyone so that they DON’T just walk away. We try to support the band however we can on the extremely limited shoestring budget we’ve got. (that comes out of our own pockets, thankyouverymuch) We realize that fans can be seen as overzealous. Amanda and I aren’t stupid – we know there’s a business side here that can’t be ignored. We just know that someone has to look out for the fans and try to create that sense of “family”, especially at this point in our lives.  It doesn’t make much sense to me that management does everything they can to ignore us really… but then, I also don’t go around tweeting things like this that have the potential to piss off the very fans they need in order to sell tickets and survive, either.  Like I said, I don’t like calling them out, and perhaps I’m seeing this all wrong…I just know in my heart that it didn’t feel quite right to see that retweet.

I  have to think that management, or anyone who has paid attention to this blog over the years, knows that I’m fairly level-headed and that I come from a place of deep respect and loyalty…or at least I try. I make jokes, I’m sarcastic and sometimes flippant, and I don’t know how to do the job that management does.  I openly, whole-heartedly admit that. I also know that they’re not likely to ever apologize for the decisions they make OR admit that they were wrong. They can’t do that without creating a nightmare for themselves and I get that. That’s fine. The last thing I want to do is create problems, but on the same token – I think it’s worth my sticking my neck out to make myself heard. Overall, I think that management does a great job. I don’t agree with the attitude of some that because management is in the US, that somehow makes them unqualified to manage a British band.  I just wish they took a little more interest in the very people that support the band.  US…the fans. The ones who really DO make the noise.  We matter.

Food for thought.



Conventions and Swag!

Happy Thursday, everyone!

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m struggling to get through this week. It’s been a busy one here, and given that my children are due to start school again in just a couple of weeks (they got out the last week in June), I don’t think a reprieve is on it’s way.

Today, I am seeking some opinions, and also sharing some news. Recently, Amanda and I were approached about possibly doing another convention in the spring. By “Spring” I mean either March or April – we have a couple of different weekends in mind, avoiding Easter. We have no details pegged at this point, but I can announce with certainty that the convention would be in the Los Angeles, California area – this is definite.

Amanda and I know there are many of you out there who loved Durandemonium and have been waiting for us to announce another.  It didn’t matter that the band wasn’t present or that we were way in between albums. Those who came to the event wanted to be there, to meet new people, form new friendships and have a great time. Judging purely from the people I see keeping in touch with one another on Facebook and Twitter, we think those goals were not only met, but surpassed, and we couldn’t be prouder.

I’ve mentioned many times here on the blog that in 2004, there was another Duran fan convention in New Orleans. This was a pretty magical time because not only were people looking to meet other fans, form new friendships and have a kick-ass time in New Orleans, but there was a new album coming out. The convention was at the end of September and Astronaut hit shelves a few weeks later in October. The band was out and about doing promo, and I could feel the energy reverberating through the fans for the entire weekend. It added something incredibly special and electric to the weekend, that is for sure.

This convention would be similar, assuming of course that the band stays the course and gets the album out in Spring of next year.  That same electricity would be in abundance, and I can’t really think of better ways to energize a fan community than having a fan convention just before the release of an album. Granted, we also recognize that most people are on a budget. Decisions have to be made with finances in mind, and perhaps people might feel that it’s just too close to call – assuming that the band would tour immediately following the album release. My guess (and it IS just a guess) is that even if the band released an album in the spring, and even if they started to tour during the summer – they might not come to the US first. Perhaps they’d get to us in the fall, which seems to be a pretty typical pattern for them. Ultimately though, we want to hear from you. Let us know what you think of another convention or fan weekend during the Spring (March or April) of 2015.  Would you attend? Why or why not?

In that same vein, we have been brainstorming ways to do some initial fundraising so that we can secure convention space.  As you may have guessed, when we booked the previous convention, the money used for deposits came directly out of our pockets (specifically Amanda’s!). Then we had to rush to sell tickets, many months in advance, in order to pay her back. While it wasn’t a horrible system, it led to many, MANY, sleepless nights on both of our parts, not to mention asking all of you to buy tickets some nine months before the actual event. Not a perfect system by any means. So before agreeing to do another, we had to brainstorm of ways to help pay for the conventions and planning. One of the things we decided to do was create a Daily Duranie Swag Shop using Cafepress! If you take a look up in the menu bar – you’ll see “Daily Duranie Swag Shop” up there. Click on it and it will take you directly to our shop on Cafepress. We’ve got everything from T-shirts to bags and shot glasses. Keep in mind that when you purchase, you’re helping us make Daily Duranie better, and putting on the next convention, and we really appreciate your help! Besides, who doesn’t want a Daily Duranie flask?!? We will be continuing to add to our merch and designs over the coming months, so check it out!  (One small caveat: we are still tinkering with the site, and one of the things I’m working on is the search functionality – right now nothing will come up if you search for particular items, but everything we have is on that front page so you shouldn’t miss anything!)

We would love feedback regarding a convention in the spring, and if you find yourself as an owner of some Daily Duranie Swag – take a photo and send it to us!  I’ll put it up on the site!


The care and feeding of social media

I’ve blogged about the band and social media many, many times. I’ve had fans tell me that I’ve got it wrong – that we fans should be thrilled that Duran Duran are even on social media at all,  and that they really don’t need to do much of anything. They don’t need to respond, follow people, or even come online unless it’s to sell us something. The band already has a loyal, thriving and growing fan base and we should be happy with whatever they choose to do, right?

I’m thrilled to tell you that this is not that blog post again.  🙂

However, let’s pretend we’re not talking about Duran Duran. What if we’re talking about someone who might not have quite the fan base that the band has. What if it’s someone who is working to cultivate that type of loyalty? Would that change our thinking on how he/she should handle social media??

Let’s take two cases in point: Anna Ross and say…Dom Brown. Anna has been on Facebook now for a relatively short time, since June 5th, actually. She already has just over 4000 “likes” to her page, (4140, actually) which is pretty remarkable given the short length of time she’s been involved. Dom, on the other hand, also has about 4000 likes (just a little more than Anna at 4238), but he joined Facebook back in November of 2009.

The other day, Dom noticed that while he has over 7000 followers on Twitter, he has decidedly less on Facebook. Being the smart ass that I am – I chose to point out that he might do better if he took the time to respond once in a while. I figured he wouldn’t ever even take time to read comments, much less respond (which is exactly why I believe I said it in three places. I like pushing my luck.) Turns out, he did see and he did respond. After nearly choking from shock (it is apparently dangerous to eat while checking out Facebook or Twitter…), I responded with “Damn…you replied!”

Well, then. (as my friend Amanda might say.)

Going back to Anna Ross, if you’ve been following her at all on Facebook, she is the exact opposite of Dom. (Sorry Dom, I’m really not picking on you – I’m trying to help, I promise!) She is extremely social, asking her fans questions, asking for pictures of previous gigs she’s done for Duran Duran, responding to comments, and so forth. She’s spent quite a bit of time really engaging the Duran Duran fans she obviously knows we are, letting us talk all about the band and basically letting us get that out of our system before reminding us (very gently and kindly) that while she LOVES talking about them, she’s actually trying to sort this Facebook page out to be her own, to discuss her OWN projects. Fair enough, right?

Once upon a time, I lightly broached the subject of social media with Dom during an interview. I remember his answer: he didn’t mind it, but it wasn’t something he could get into a habit of doing for some reason.  I think, purely as an interested bystander, that much of the problem is not knowing what to talk about, or what to do. Women seem to love Facebook – it’s natural for us to chat with friends and know what to say, although I have plenty of guy friends that do very well with Facebook. I can’t decide how I feel about Twitter. On one hand I think that I see more men regularly participating – but I can’t tell if that’s just because of the group of people I follow or if that’s really the culture of Twitter. I think the less open-endedness of Twitter (merely posting status updates in 140 characters or less) probably helps.

So, after gently pointing out (along with others) that Dom should try talking WITH us, he agreed to start interacting. I don’t think he should be afraid to respond directly to people – most of us won’t bite. (I said most.) He also doesn’t to be a slave to social media. A few minutes at the end of the day, or even once a week to either ask a question of us or respond to a few things asked of him would be a great start. I think that in some ways, seeing how the band interacts with fans has not been a great learning tool. First off, they have “people” who handle the band’s Twitter, although John and Simon have their own accounts. Secondly, we must remember that the band has thousands upon thousands of fans. Twitter and Facebook aren’t going to be handled in the same way by the band as they need to be by those who are trying to grow a fan base. The loyalty and interest is already there for Duran Duran, whereas Dom and Anna are trying to not only create that sense of loyalty in their fans, they’re trying to create an interest for people to see that not only do they have a job to do for Duran Duran, but they have their own creative breadth of work.

I suppose the real test is whether or not Dom really keeps at it. I hope he does, and not just because he’s a favorite of mine. I’d like to see him succeed, and if I can help him – I will. I noticed that someone responded “We’ve heard that before” when he mentioned that he’d really try. Fair enough. I think it’s easy to just put social media on the back burner and pretend it doesn’t matter, especially if it doesn’t come naturally to you, or if you feel like you’re having to “come up” with things to say every day…which is what I suspect might be part of the case here.

On the other hand, I think Anna will not only keep at it – but she’ll continue to grow her fan base exponentially as a result, and we might hear an even larger applause for her each night of the next tour for Duran Duran. I know that even for myself, I didn’t know much about her until she joined Facebook. I had no idea that she was doing her own projects, and so I’m looking forward to hearing her own music, just as I do with Dom.

Like it or not, social media IS a habit that one has to get used to.  I think my advice, to Dom and others, is to just talk to us. Talk as if you’re talking to friends. 4000 of your good friends that, if given the opportunity, will bombard you with questions and ask you umpteen times if you’ll come play a blues show in Los Angeles, or if you’re still really involved on the next Duran Duran album.  I mean, there’s only 4000 of us, right? How bad could it possibly be???

All joking aside, it IS true. Social media isn’t difficult. It’s not rocket science. In order for it to be successful though, you DO have to be social. You can’t just post dates for gigs and maybe an occasional “this is what I’m doing right now” tweet every couple of months, and expect to cultivate a Facebook following. That just isn’t how it all works, but again – no one expects slavery to the system. Spend the time you can with us, and even an occasional “Hi, how are you?” is a genuine way to get to know the people who love your music enough to follow. I speak for all fans when I say that getting a response from someone I’ve seen onstage for years brings a smile to my face even when I’m having a really lousy day, and it makes me even more excited to buy the next album and go to the next shows.  It’s such a simple, yet effective thing.  Use it!


Follow Dom on Facebook

Follow Dom on Twitter

Follow Anna on Facebook

Follow Anna on Twitter



Today in Duran History – Blame the Machines!

On today’s date in 2010, Mark Ronson became the hero of all Duranies…very nearly our own patron saint! Why is that you ask?  Was this the date he began working with the band? (Nope!) Did they ever name him as the fifth member?? (No. No they did not.) No…Mark did something that will endear him to us forevermore.  He gave us the gift of playing 30 seconds of “Blame the Machines” during his show on East Village Radio.

Do you hear trumpets of triumph or angels singing…or is that just me?

I remember back when we used to get snippets…..*sigh*  In fact if the band wants to send us a gift of a snippet right now as you read this, I am safely out of town…probably without cell service because I’m camping. On vacation for the next several days, in fact.  I might never even know!!!  *gasp*

However, in case that never happens…we have the fond memory of Mark playing brand new, unreleased Duran Duran on his radio show. At least somebody was looking out for the fans….


Today in Duran History – AOL & John Taylor

On today’s date in 1997, John Taylor held an AOL online chat.  Now, I am almost certain some of you readers had to have been present for that – so ‘fess up!

I can’t even imagine what that must have been like, both for John as well as the fans. I know from speaking with Patty Palazzo that at the time, John utilized a “grass roots” marketing approach to his solo career, which really worked. He connected with fans and used basic word of mouth to market himself – and while it’s true that a good many fans never bothered to expose themselves to his work, I’ve YET to run across a fan who was truly a part of that moment (going to shows, taking part on Trust the Process, and maybe even meeting John himself) that doesn’t look back on that time with extreme fondness.  Maybe it really isn’t just about the music.  Imagine that.


Today in Duran History – Nagoya, Japan

On today’s date in 2003, Duran Duran played at Century Hall in Nagoya, Japan.  Fans will remember that these shows in Japan were the first shows of the band’s reunion, and this show at Century Hall was #3. Many fans and Duranies traveled from all over the world, including the US, to go to see these first shows with the Fab Five back together again.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any clips from this particular show (plenty from Budokan, though, which leads me to believe that: A. they were able to get cameras into the Budokan but not others. or B. They had finally recovered their senses enough from seeing the other shows that they could take video of this one!!)…but I do have the set list!

Friends of Mine
Hungry Like the Wolf
Planet Earth
Come Undone
What Happens Tomorrow
New Religion
White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It)
(Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel cover)
Night Boat
Still Breathing
Is There Something I Should Know?
Save a Prayer
Ordinary World
A View to a Kill
(Reach Up for the) Sunrise
The Wild Boys
Careless Memories
The Reflex

Girls on Film

The Chauffeur – Warpaint (Making Patterns Rhyme Cover Album)

I love the days when Manimal releases a new song from the Making Patterns Rhyme album, because it’s like getting brand new music! Today is certainly no exception. I suspect that many fans will find this new single easy on the palate, and perhaps even something that they’ll add to their playlists.

When I first hit ‘play’, I won’t lie – at first I found myself the teensiest bit underwhelmed. It’s not that the song isn’t beautiful or that the vocals left me cold. I liked the sound, but I felt like they could have pushed that envelope a bit further. It sounded too much like what Duran Duran had done. I wanted more. I wanted to hear what Warpaint could really do with it on their own.

At this point – I might have shut the song off to write a short blog because I thought I’d gotten a good idea of what they’d done. This time though, I left the song playing as I went on to tackle the next morning task on my list. I’m glad I did, because as they say – “the best was yet to come”. The further it got into the song, the more that Warpaint played with the melody – not taking away from the original, but adding more to the sound. The vocals grew more haunting, more ethereal; the music more deconstructed, so to speak. They explored the sounds in a way that Duran Duran hadn’t, and I loved it! The last 30 seconds or so of the song are worth waiting for – and you’ll want to play the song over and over again because it really is that good. They took the beauty of the original and added their own color to the artistic palate.  Rather than just being comfortable with letting the original melody stand on it’s own, they explored a bit with the sound combinations, and in many ways – Warpaint improved upon the original. I suspect this one sentence may get me into trouble with my fellow Duranies, but it’s the truth – and it pays the highest compliment possible to Duran Duran.

Additionally, I’m taking a second to gush over the artwork that our very own Patty Palazzo has created for the project.  In each case, she has taken an image from the original song (most from videos, with the obvious exceptions of the songs that did not have videos) and updated it as the artwork for the cover version.  It’s kind of like taking a bit of the old to send off the new, and I love that simple, yet effective theme.  I really like the specific images Patty has chosen – they ‘re iconic for us, and explanative of the cover version as well.

Take a listen and let me know what you think! -R

Covers, Covers, we got your covers!!

Second “real” blog post in two days.  You’d think I was gearing back up for an album or something…

I think most Duranies are aware of the Making Patterns Rhyme tribute album that Manimal records is producing, and if you’re not familiar with the yet-to-be-released full album, surely you’ve heard Moby’s Rio and Belief’s Sound of Thunder.   If not – go check them out, the links are there for your convenience!

Yesterday, John Taylor asked DDHQ to ask about your favorite Duran Duran cover song.  I almost tweeted back that I was going to sit down with some popcorn and drinks, and let the games begin.  I knew that I’d be reading a litany of “You can’t do Duran Duran better than Duran Duran”, but I was curious to see what other answers might come up.

Personally, I haven’t paid a ton of attention to covers over the years. I knew they were out there – but I didn’t really care. I didn’t hate them, but I didn’t really feel the need to hear them, either. I was so busy just enjoying Duran Duran that I didn’t think I needed to pay attention. I knew Reel Big Fish had done Hungry Like the Wolf, and I remember Hole’s version on The Chauffeur…and I can’t really forget the medley of DD songs that Rockapella performed  (I have it on my iPad somewhere…), but I didn’t take the time to really search or listen beyond that.  Somehow, I suspect I’m not alone.

So, when John Taylor asked about our favorite covers yesterday, I really thought about the question, and more importantly, why he might be asking. There were definitely an overwhelming number of  those “it’s nothing if it’s not Duran Duran” type-replies, and I suspect that John knew he’d see that. So, why ask?  I’m sure he was curious what we have heard. After all, not every single Duran Duran cover has been promoted by the band. (and from the research I’ve done in the past couple of days, I can understand why…) I think asking that sort of question gives him a reasonable gauge of what we’ve exposed ourselves to hearing.  I also think he wanted to somehow indicate that while he appreciates loyalty to the band and all – he fully expects that we might occasionally hear, and enjoy a cover of their music…and that it’s OK.  Additionally, just talking about covers gets fans thinking about covers, and maybe, just maybe…it gets us listening and exposing our ears to what is out there.

My own response, and theory to what is going on here with the complete dismay, dislike, and venom (I could go on…) for the covers of Rio and Sound of Thunder (not as much so for the LUXXURY version of Girls on Film…) is that quite simply: I don’t think fans are used to hearing them much.  We haven’t taken the time to expose ourselves. It takes time to accept that it’s OK that it’s not Simon singing the vocals, John on bass, Nick…Roger…etc, and the only way you grow to accept it is to force yourself to keep listening.  Eventually you realize that no, the world does NOT come to an end because someone covered a Duran Duran song. Even better, you start recognizing that yes, there are people out there who have a tremendous gift and can continue to be creative with what is already an amazing song. Then the pendulum starts to swing to the point where you want to see just how far someone can go with the original song.  How far can it be taken before it’s not really Rio, or Hungry Like the Wolf or The Chauffeur?  Where are the boundaries?? Sure, this might not be the case for everyone, but I really kind of think it’s the case for many.  I know because I was there, and I’m betting I’m not alone. This was definitely me several years back.  I though I was being the good little fan by saying nothing was as good as the original.  I missed out on some really great music in the process.

I made the comment yesterday that part of the problem is that I don’t think fans have been exposed to many covers and that someone…maybe even a fan blog (because I’m a smart ass that way) should start posting some and getting people to listen.  I’ll say this much: after you hear some really bad covers, you start listening to the covers that might be way out there but still very creative much, much differently.  I can almost promise that.

So each week I’m going to take Wednesdays (since this is what day this is) and post some covers and a short little review of them.  It’s going to be YOUR job, as good readers, to listen and post whatever you think.  You are probably going to hate most of them at first. I get that. I’ll keep reminding you that they’re not as terrible (most of the time) as you think, and that no – Simon will not hate you for listening to them.  That I can pretty much promise.  Eventually you might just find something you like, and by that time, hopefully this damn #DD14 album will be READY TO PLAY!!!  (that was for you, John Taylor and Co….)  What I’m going to try to do is pick a song and then find a few covers of that song to post.  I might not ever find them all – in which case if you know of one to share, please do. Send a link, email us…and we’ll post it!

The question is where to begin. So this week let’s try Ordinary World. There are a TON of covers of this song, so I picked my favorites. If you have others that you want me to hear, send ’em!! Link is in the title:artist name. Short review is below each.

Ordinary World: Aurora

So this cover is different. The melody is definitely secondary to the rhythm track – in an attempt to make it danceable, and it has a much more atmospheric, spacey sound in parts. It’s also sped way, way up from the original.  That said, it’s completely recognizable…and the lead singer is apparently Robert Pattinson’s (of Twilight fame) older sister.  She has a beautiful voice.  Funny how I never thought much about females taking on Duran’s tunes before…but as you’re going to see over the next several weeks, MANY of the most beautiful covers out there are done by females!

Ordinary World: Gregorian

Very interesting, this Gregorian. (really…I’ve studied real Gregorian chant, and it’s not quite to that point) The music is somewhat subdued, and of course the voices are meant to stand out on their own.  For me, this doesn’t really quite do it…but you know, it IS beautiful in it’s own right. I just keep thinking it feels a bit too much like karaoke.

Ordinary World: Joy Williams

This is my favorite cover of this song (that I’ve found so far).  Haunting, emotional…it’s as though all of the sorrow that could be found in this song is packed into her vocals. No guitar, just piano…and it’s stunning in every single way.

Ordinary World: Red

Love the strings on this one and the additional synth sounds make it interesting and their own. The song is executed in much of the same style as Duran Duran, but it’s definitely their own spin on it musically with a little more of a rock anthem type of sound to it.

Ordinary World: Ainjel Emme

Another female artist.  This time, it’s just guitar and vocals.  Her vocals are stunning, and the guitar is acoustic – very pretty.  My only constructive criticism is that she does very little to make the song her own, and I’d like to hear what she could do to take the song to a different place.

Ordinary World: Rust

Wow. This is a much harder rock version. They kept the melody, the guitar solo…probably kept most of the synth that we know…and added a whole new element. Truthfully out of the covers I chose to include, this is probably the farthest from the original – but it’s interesting.  The hard rock gives the song a great gritty texture to it for those moments where I’m really just majorly pissed off AND sad at the same time!

That’s six different versions of Ordinary World. I know there are a ton more out there that I didn’t even include (I could be here for days…listening and writing away….), but it’s a start. Take a listen. Get your ears used to hearing other people performing Duran’s music. It won’t kill you. In fact, I think it broadens the horizons a bit.