Tag Archives: Duranies

My heart it screams: Duran Duran fandom

This is not my day to write for the blog, and I know that. I also am well-aware I should be teaching math right about now to my youngest, who…as I write about Duran Duran fandom…is standing in her bedroom (supposedly getting dressed) and truly belting the song “Last Night in the City”.  She’s seven. So there’s that. I figure I’ve got at least another 45-minutes before she wanders out here again, wondering why I haven’t called her “to class.” So I keep writing…

Today started as any other “normal” (I laugh at that word) day in my house. It’s my husband’s birthday, and I have a lot to accomplish before the family gathers tonight to celebrate. I baked a cake at 7am this morning…as one does.  But then I decided to check out Facebook and Twitter, and down the rabbit hole I went.  I’m glad I did, otherwise I would not have stumbled upon this FANTASTIC fan reaction video that I’m going to share right here – and I insist that you stop whatever it is you’re doing to watch it. RIGHT NOW.

I’ve sat through the video “a few” times now…obviously not so that I can critique her comments, or so that I can accurately assess her Duran Duran fandom. Definitely not. I sat here watching and smiling, and nearly tearing up, because this girl – Sophie – reminds me of myself when I was young. I look nothing like her (she’s way cooler than I was at 17), but she reminds me of that easy youthful way I embraced the band. She reminds me of WHY.

Sometimes Amanda and I take Duran Duran and our fandom incredibly seriously when we shouldn’t. Sometimes that comes with having to deal with all the behind-the-scenes intricacies of owning a blog read by a lot of people. Other times, it comes from over thinking, and still many more times it comes with being self-conscious about how I must look and sound to others. I forget to actually BE a fan, I suppose.

Sophie, on the other hand, hasn’t forgotten. She react in the way that ANY of us might, and she posts it publicly for all to see. In my head and heart, I have to hope and believe that her natural reaction means more to the band than any award – any Grammy, any MTV EMA or Q Award might. The Duran Duran fandom is their legacy, that reaction is what they leave, and will continue leaving, in their wake, and it is beyond beautiful.

Thinking back to the recent shows here in California, I know how I felt and behaved. The “fan girl” still lives and breathes within this heart and mind of mine, rest assured. But there’s something fresh, innocent, and validating about seeing a second generation Duranie (and by all means – she embraces the full meaning of what it is to be a Duranie) have the same natural reaction that I might. I don’t know, for me, watching her reaffirmed how I feel. I wanted to stand up, cheer and HUG her because she gets it, and she shows it to the whole world. I need to bottle some of her enthusiasm for later use.

In addition to Sophie, who I would love to interview (I mean it, Sophie – if you’re reading – send me an email because I would love to chat with you for the blog!), I also stumbled upon two other fantastic blog posts on thesassologist.com that I need to share.

The first is on fan girls. Amusingly enough, I ran upon this blog post just before I saw Sophie’s video. Must be a theme today or something…  I don’t know when it started to be a bad thing to BE a fan, but it is apparently especially bad to be a fan girl. The stigma can be horrendous at times, and if we thought it was bad back when we were teenagers, it’s even worse at 45. As an adult, I recognize the girl(s) described in the blog…because I see many of them at the shows I go to. Heck, I think I actually WAS one of those girls at the Agua Caliente show as I stood with my elbows on the stage, marveling at the fact that Nick could see my every reaction and actually smiled in my general direction, or that John was just a few feet from me. Or that Simon was within spitting distance… 😉 So I had to chuckle because the post is written as to remind the adults that it’s OK for teens to fan girl a bit. It’s OK for 45-year olds to fan girl too…we applaud that sort of thing around here.

As an aside, the author of The Sassologist apparently works for Katy Perry’s management team – and it sounds like she must help run the fan forums. She must help to do contests and meet and greets, because she specifically refers to those things in the posts I read. She has a unique vantage point – one that I am completely envious of – because she talks about making people’s dreams come true. I so get that. Amanda and I obviously don’t work for the band, but we definitely do our bit to foster community here, and we want to do more in the coming months and years. More than anything else we do, I love seeing friendships be made because of a party we put together or a convention we planned in order to celebrate being Duran Duran fans. I can’t even imagine how gratifying it might be to run an entire fan community or facilitate contests and things like that on top of what we already do – but I would jump at the opportunity for sure!

The second post is about seeing your favorite artist(s) multiple times.  On a personal level, this article hits a home run. I almost cringe when I will mention to my family that I’m going to be traveling or that Amanda is coming to visit, because undoubtedly, the next reactions consist of, “Again? Don’t you get tired of seeing them?” and “Doesn’t it cost you a lot to go to these shows?” To which my answers are always, “Yes.” “No, I don’t get tired because every single show is different, even if they play the same exact set list.” and “Yes. Yes it does cost a lot for me to go, but it’s something I really enjoy doing for myself.”

There is obviously a lot more that goes into my replies to the family, because annoyingly, I feel like I must somehow justify myself. I’ve seen the band something like 34 times now or so. More than some, and a lot less than others. This blog and those duties (like our pre-show parties and meet-ups) aside, if I didn’t love going to see Duran Duran, I wouldn’t go. Every time I see them, it’s different. They play the same basic set list each show for the most part, even if the songs are in slightly different order – but anyone who has ever gone to more than one show on a tour knows that every show is different.  The audiences are different, venues change, cities change…and the fans who go to the shows change. But I like going, and although I’ve commented here that the travel is kicking my ass (and it does tend to do that), I still love going. The expense is more problematic for me right now, but there is still so much I want to see happen with Daily Duranie.  We’re working to create a community by doing these fan events before the shows, writing blogs, running contests and even planning conventions. I need to do whatever I can to keep that momentum going. My family doesn’t really understand.

That’s the beauty of this wonderful community-at-large, we DO understand one another….as these videos and articles I’ve shared prove. I appreciate being able to smile my way into another weekend as I continue thinking about what it really means to be a fan. Excuse me for butting into Amanda’s blogging days, as I steer myself back to the task at hand: teaching math to my youngest!

-R

Something Cooking When You Play Guitar

I don’t know how other bloggers handle readers or their comments, but Amanda and I like to try to stay engaged with people.  So, we do tend to read the things being said on Facebook and Twitter, as well as comments sent directly to our blog.

One of the very best comments I’ve read…probably ever…was something posted in response to a blog I wrote a couple of days back regarding the show at Agua Caliente. I tried to put my feelings about that night into words, and even though I’m still not sure I conveyed it all properly, many readers seem to not only grasp what I was saying, they chimed in with their own feelings.

 “I always tell people, ‘I am the real me when I am at a Duran concert’ .” – Nicky Pryer, Facebook

A simple, thought-provoking statement, and I can’t get it out of my head.

Nicky’s statement sums up exactly how I feel. I’m not just a fan. I’m a mom, I home school, and I’m a wife among many other things…but I’m also a musician. I’ve played clarinet since I was 8. I’ve actually PLAYED at the Hollywood Bowl before. (Yes, on that same big stage.) I practiced for hours upon hours each day and it was my entire life outside of school. My life goals were two-fold: 1. Become principle clarinetist for the LA Phil. 2. Become an orchestra conductor.  I was very, very, serious about my craft, and auditioned for the now defunct junior philharmonic when I was 11. I made it the first time, and I remember the conductor telling me how unusual it was, but that I was very, very, good.  The pressure was enormous for me and I constantly felt like I needed to measure up to expectations. When I got to high school, I decided to quit the orchestra and play in the school marching band instead, and my entire life changed accordingly. I ended up doing pretty much the exact opposite of what I thought I’d be doing now: I stay at home, I’m married…and I have kids. Three (and a husband) more than I’d ever thought about when I was 12 or 13, actually. I didn’t even play the clarinet in college. Now, my playing is only done in private, and really if I’m going to be honest, those short moments (who can really practice with kids around?!?) are the times when I feel the most like myself.  It is the one thing I do that doesn’t get shared, and is completely and utterly for me. I love that. For my fortieth birthday, my family bought me a new clarinet. It wasn’t just your average student version – it was a professional, very expensive model. I cried when I opened it because I will likely never play on a professional stage again, but I treasure that darn thing to pieces. I’d sell my Duran Duran collection before I’d ever sell that clarinet – just to show its importance to me. Music courses through my veins and continues to be my lifeblood…and when I go to see shows, particular Duran Duran, I feel flickers of that coming through.

I could write this particular post from the angle that I’m normally just your basic mom, or that I revert back to my inner-teen when the band comes on stage…and for the most part, that would be appropriate and pretty real-life. But for me, those descriptions would still leave something untouched. Yes, of course I scream for the band. Sure, I clap, dance, and even bat my eyelashes with abandon, but there’s more going on than just fan-girl adoring (and I say this knowing it is true for many, if not most of you out there). When I stand in front of the band and they are playing, I am able to block out everything else and just hear the notes and words, and I recognize myself again. I think many of us are that way, and this is just MY version of that story.

Recently, I tried to describe my feelings to someone by saying that when a song is played well, even though I know that I am one of thousands in the room, it feels as though I’m the only person there and that it’s being played just for me. I have no doubt that the person I said that to thought it was “just” an adoring fan girl moment for sure, but that isn’t what I meant at all. I won’t lie, it kind of makes me gag a little that it was taken that way (I should’ve known better), and also irks me that I didn’t explain it better so they’d get it and take my comment seriously. That person doesn’t know me well enough to understand that I said that as a musician – not as a fan, and yes, that difference DOES matter to me in this particular situation. I meant that those notes become a part of me. I can SEE the music as they’re playing it. I think about the key signatures, the dynamics…the chords… and it all transports me away from the person I am now, away from being a fan, back to JUST the music…which is really at the very heart of who I am.

Please don’t read this post thinking that I’m trying to say that I experience the shows more seriously, or differently than others. Anyone who has stood next to me at shows knows, I go as crazy as anyone else! (Trust me – I adore the band like anyone else as I stand staring at Dom’s striped socks inches from me, or I watch Nick grin down at me as he starts in with the chords to Hungry Like the Wolf. Or maybe when I see Roger twirl his drum stick in Wild Boys, or when John waits for us to shout “Switch it Off in Planet Earth…or when I watch Simon point to John as he sings the line “big sky” in Sunrise. I am a fan, and live for those moments!) I can only say that when I start feeling like the “Real” Rhonda, someone who I kind of think I left behind in high school or maybe even college, I’m only thinking about the music. How it looks. How it feels. How it makes me feel. Even when Simon Willescroft plays the sax in Rio, I’m standing there paying rapt attention to the keys and how he sounds, considering why it might be that some nights it sounds better than others. Or I think about why I prefer the sound a straight soprano sax makes compared to the hooked neck one he has used in Tiger Tiger. (Sorry Simon!) Then I remember that I gave up playing professionally years before, and sometimes, that makes me sad.

Seeing Duran Duran isn’t entirely about leaving my responsibilities behind or reverting back to that little girl who hung their posters in her bedroom. No, sometimes it’s about remembering how much I love music. How much I love playing. Sometimes it’s about feeling inspired to practice, or using some of the music theory I’ve learned to write a review…or even just hearing the notes or bass line a little differently than I heard it on my stereo at home. Seeing John smile at the audience makes me smile and glow in turn, but those precious few minutes when I am past all of that, and my head is completely and totally submerged in the music – that time is golden above all else, and it is when I feel the most like me.

-R

This is How We Stay Connected

Well, I’ve hit the wall.  Or maybe I should say I’ve hit the door. I can’t really decide at this moment.  What I can do is describe how I’m feeling. It’s that point where I finally come down from the concert high and realize that I have at least months, if not years, until the next road trip, tour, concert or band member sighting.

That’s depressing.

The thing is, with all due respect to John, Simon, Nick, Roger AND Dom (can’t forget him!)…it’s not even necessarily all about them. It’s knowing that it will probably be six months to a year before I see Amanda again. (Does anyone else find it even mildly perplexing as to how we can run this site even though we are hardly EVER in the same state, much less the same room?!?) It’s realizing that evenings spent laughing over a table filled with, well…empty glasses…are a long way off again, never mind the days spent driving while trying to compile “just the right” set list to either drive people crazy, or make them laugh. (I think that depends on whether it’s Simon LeBon reading or another fan reading…and maybe not necessarily in that order!)  It’s recognizing the absence of friends. Even though I chat with most of them online each day at some point, it isn’t the same as being able to walk up to one of them and give them a hug or look at one another during a show and know we’re thinking the same thing. I miss them.

I’ve unpacked my bag, done laundry for everyone in the house, cleaned up the whirlwind I walked in on Sunday night, and have even caught up on and cleaned out emails and texts. I’ve looked at pictures, sat back and smiled at some particularly amusing memories, and wistfully daydreamed about others. I’ve bought groceries, and aside from a morning spent in urgent care (it turns out I will live), my life went back to normal just as quickly as the few days away seemed to pass. The band has since moved on to New York. Another album signing, another festival, and they’ll be headed back home to regroup before the UK shows take place in November. Life always seems to return itself to normal, no matter what happened the week prior.

I just don’t know how I get through this each time…whatever “this” is. I suppose it’s a bit of concert let-down. At first, I suppose I strive to keep talking about the shows or anecdotes from the road trip, as though by mentioning them it will keep everything fresh and alive. Then I start noticing the absence of people I care about, whether it’s that they don’t really tweet much, or that I don’t see them online very often, or just that I can’t pick up the phone every time I need to chat. I start thinking about how long it might be before I see them again, and what I can do in the meantime to make it easier. Let’s face it: Amanda is my best friend and we honestly spend about a week together (give or take a day or two) over the course of an entire year in the same place. Skype helps, but I don’t have the opportunity to Skype with everyone I miss. Yeah, it’s pretty depressing and I hate going through it. So what can really be done?

Well, for Amanda and I: we run this blog. It takes up a lot of our time as is, and invariably when we’re together, we come up with a brand new list of things we want to do, need to do and HAVE to do in order to keep it all going. I have to laugh because since I’ve been home, I’ve worked 10-hour days trying to catch up, clear out and read up on some things we’re hoping to do. While doing that now infamous road trip last week, we came up with brand NEW crazy ideas to pass the time, like a pumpkin-carving contest and adding a message board.  Our theory is basically that if we can’t have a Duranie community living in each of our respective towns, we can create one in a central place online. No, we’re not duranduranmusic.com, and this is not a fan club…but we are a community, and anyone can join. So that’s our goal going forward: to continue making this little blog into a real community. We’re going to run contests, have discussions, start a forum and continue planning for future meet-ups and even conventions; because as fans ourselves, we know what we want in a fan community. We’ll also stay funny, because well…we amuse ourselves, sometimes beyond reason!

No, I really can’t tell anyone here in the US for certain when John, Simon, Nick, Roger and Dom will be back for more. I don’t really know for sure when or where our next road trip or meet-ups will take place (But I will just throw this out to the powers that be – the more notice, the better – even if it’s just the name of the city, because that way we can plan. We can put together a trip plan, figure out meet-up times, and even do room blocks at hotels, which ultimately helps everyone in the long run). I only know that more is to come, and until then, we’re going to try our best to keep everyone busy.

In the meantime, if you happen to be well-versed in websites and have direct experience adding message boards to existing sites…shoot me an email.

-R

 

Nick Rhodes – Still Denimless?

I love seeing things get shaken up every once in a while, and this morning was no exception. Today, most people on the planet should have felt a rumbling from deep within because Nick Rhodes…yes, that Nick Rhodes, was on Twitter, answering questions from fans like he’d been on Twitter all along….

The announcement of Nick answering questions on Twitter went over like a lead balloon in the Duraniverse…and even better, people continued asking Amanda and I if we were going send in questions as well. Amanda had other things to take care of today, and so it was left to me – which is always dangerous. This morning proved no different than normal in my crazy household, and I ended up not being around for 90% of his Q&A. I did attempt to quickly send in a couple of questions, but he was finished before he could even see them, much less answer. Alas.

That said, I did see all of the questions and his answers. Rather than just be serious and boring (Nick, boring?? Is that even possible?), he took the attitude I really expected and went another, far more creative and witty route.

For example, @SweetRose1993 asked “Hi Nick, what’s your favourite place to shoot a DD video? And what’s your favourite DD single so far?”

Nick’s answer? “To shoot a video? A virtual reality floatation tank with dancing girls and a pocket universe. – NR”

Not too shabby with the wit there, Nicholas (and somehow I don’t think you’re joking).  I appreciated his wit, particularly when answering questions about doing a memoir (He answered that he just needs to dig a worm hole in between minutes) or about the health of his trusty Jupiter 8 (“I am happy to report all three are fit and well at present, however the emergency room is never too far away. – NR”) .  I especially loved his answer to a question that a fan asked about his joining Twitter (“Look for me on Wednesdays at 3am, I’ll be “my head is full of chopsticks” – NR).

Is that 3am my time, or yours, Nick??

And my most favorite, although they were all really good questions and answers )with far less “Please say hi to my mum” comments than Tumblr had the other day with John and Roger), was from @mondaymoon7609 who asked about time travel and where Nick would want to go. His reply, “The future, then I could fix a lot of things in the past. – NR” will keep me thinking for a while.

But then on second thought, maybe I really loved the question about giving Simon fashion advice…. “Only when we reach crisis point.It happened with a particularly nasty pair of crocs once. -NR”  And I did wince a little when Nick said “No. Absolutely not” to owning a pair of blue jeans.

Here’s the thing, Nick. I own enough pairs for both of us. You’re welcome. 

I had a few people ask Daily Duranie how we thought he did, and I thought he was great. He didn’t answer questions that probably couldn’t get a quick 140-character answer, and yet he did answer a fair amount of serious questions. In all fairness, I had no doubt that he’d do well. Nick is extremely quick-witted, and that works very well with an environment that can feel a little like a mass feeding frenzy. So yes, he did extremely well and I’m surprised it’s taken him this long to participate. I had to laugh because he answered a question about his favorite song off of Paper Gods by saying that on Thursdays it is “You Kill Me With Silence”, but if you’re in Australia it’s already a different song.” I sat there for a couple of seconds longer than I probably should have thinking, Wait, is it really Thursday already?!? 

(Yes, that is EXACTLY the type of week it has been.)

-R

What’s this new song called ‘Encore’?

I am way, way, way tardy with this blog today and I do apologize.

So, has anyone gone to any shows lately???  (I love the days when I can ask that with all seriousness!)

As many of my east coast friends have tweeted and posted about going to the shows, and I have seen several photos of Duran Duran members out and about, I have also seen a few comments regarding the first Capitol Theatre show in NYC.  It sounded like a fantastic show, complete with all of the major hits, a brand new song, and even a song or two that perhaps some haven’t heard in a while. Not at all bad, and definitely more than many have had over the past few years, am I right?

But then we get to the end of the night, and…something is different. The band waves their goodbyes, they head off stage, and yes, the lights go up. (and perhaps out again. I’m fuzzy on those details from here in California) Fans cheer, because well…they’re expecting an encore. Several minutes go by, and yes, fans are continuing to cheer. This continues for what many say was twenty minutes. I’ve got to tell you, even I might have given up by then, especially if the house lights were on. Usually I assume that is the signal to go, especially if security is telling me to move on out. But these aren’t just any fans. Nope. They are Duranies….and they’re not leaving until the band comes out.

Eventually, the band does come out again, and they play Careless Memories along with Girls on Film (I am hoping I got the songs correct).  All is well. The band did the encore, and despite having to wait a considerable while, the crowd cheered and everything is fine. Except that some fans weren’t very happy. They were confused, they were wondering why the band waited so long, and to many fans…it just looks bad. No one seems to know if it was technical difficulties as DDHQ said, or if it was just that the band was unprepared to actually do an encore. (which quite honestly sounds ridiculous to me. This band always does encores, don’t they???)  So some fans take to social media.

This is the part that interests me. Quite frankly I don’t care about what the band was planning to do or not do. I’m thrilled that the fans stayed and cheered. I’m not going to bust anyone’s ass about whether or not the band should have come back out on the stage, because I don’t know what really happened.  I only know three things:

  1. There was a long wait between the band leaving the stage and coming back out.

  2. Dom Brown posted that he had never heard a crowd cheer so long or so hard for a band to do an encore.

  3. Someone dared mention their disappointment and anger with the band on their Facebook page.

So #3 is the fascinating part to me, Ms. Studier-of-Fandom.  Said fan mentioned their disappointment in a fairly catty way…and it wasn’t long until fans came out of the woodwork to tear the fan down and make her criticism no longer credible. Even DDHQ answered the fan directly, commenting that the band had technical difficulties and that it was disappointing to them that she only say negative things, especially since the band was experiencing the exact same situation as the crowd. That answer from DDHQ did absolutely nothing to salve the situation. Fans wanted this girl’s head.

Amanda and I discussed it at length this morning because it’s something she and I have noticed over the years. Hell hath no fury like a Duranie when s/he’s seeing her/his band be dissed, and if it’s another fan doing the dissing, they can expect to be flamed, flogged, and virtually destroyed. We’ve actually experienced this from time to time ourselves, so I suppose I write from experience here.

Was it really fair to annihilate that fan for stating her opinion? Was it really fair for DDHQ to bust her chops?  Was it OK for fans to defend the band at all costs?  Was it OK for this person to even mention her disappointment?

Probably not. Yes. It depends…and maybe.  (and maybe not necessarily in that order.  No hate mail please.)

What I do know is that there’s a way to give constructive criticism, and there’s a way to be negative. Sometimes I get it mixed up – as all of you know – but I do recognize there’s a way to soften words so that you’re better heard and understood by those around you. My dad used to tell me (constantly) “You catch more bees with honey than vinegar”. I hated that saying, which should surprise no one, I might add.  I really don’t think it was this person’s criticism that was horrible – but the way she worded it immediately put her at odds with everyone, including DDHQ. So her point served no one, and she likely walked away thinking the entire fan community sucks…and sometimes, it really feels that way.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that sometimes, fans have good points. I read the entire argument this morning, and despite her delivery – she did have a few good points, as did many others involved on the thread. We do pay a lot of money for shows, and I also say we’re all VERY spoiled. I don’t think it’s below the belt to voice a complaint if it’s warranted, but in the case of the delayed encore…I would venture to say that you know, it was the first damn show out of the gate. Who really KNOWS (besides the band) if they were planning an encore or not, and at this point, who really cares? They came out and did a damn good one. And in exchange?

That band heard those of you in the audience that night. LOUD AND CLEAR. They know the crowd wanted them; and hopefully they know that we’re all still on the same team.

Make no mistake, if the band “decides” not to do an encore at the Hollywood Bowl on October 1st, I’m second row middle alongside Amanda.  We’re prepared to camp out if that’s what it takes to get that encore.

-R

 

Crisis Equals Opportunity: The Daily Duranie Facebook

Today has been quite a day. During the summer, Amanda and I have committed ourselves to working on projects together via Skype, and today was no exception. We got online, chatted a bit and settled down to work. That’s when the day was completely derailed.

Amanda went to log on to our Daily Duranie Facebook account like normal, only to find that she couldn’t get into our account. We were locked out and Facebook wanted to confirm our identity…something that has never happened before. It wanted government ID, a birth certificate or something similar. While we acknowledge that Daily Duranie has taken on a life of it’s own….it’s not quite THAT big. We thought we’d been hacked, to be honest.

So, we settled into trying to understand why this happened. In a nutshell, Facebook wants to “encourage” people to only use their real names for personal accounts. This is of course, because they want businesses, public figures, bands, magazines, entertainment entities, authors, etc to create a Facebook Page instead. Pages are more of an advertising type of entity as opposed to a personal account for regular ole folks. Pages are fine, but the main problem is that in order to get your posts widely seen – EVEN by those who follow – you must pay to have the posts “boosted”.  That’s great if you’re a business who has a revenue stream to support such activity, but if you’re a small blog like us?  That’s an issue, and that’s one reason Amanda and I agreed to stick with a regular account, and all was fine until today.  Today Facebook decided that we weren’t getting in. Period. No warning, no measure for helping or allowing us to just move the account to a page, nothing. We could try to appeal (which did not work), or move forward.

So we set about creating the new Daily Duranie Facebook Page, and fretting about all that we’d lost. Maybe none of you realize, but we’re talking nearly FIVE YEARS of hard work. Posts. Pictures. Nearly 2500 friends. Real friends from around the world. The more I typed, fixed profile pictures and cover photos, messaged Duran Duran pages and groups…the bigger the knot in my stomach and throat became. We have put blood, sweat and tears into this blog in a way that no one on the planet can really understand. It has felt at times that for every two steps forward, we’ve taken five backward. Yet, I couldn’t separate myself from Daily Duranie even if I tried, because it’s ME. It’s Amanda. It’s US.  And a large part of the two of us is now in Facebook jail. Welcome to Tuesday, my friends.

As I set about understanding the reasoning why our account – out of all the thousands of FB accounts who go by pseudonyms instead of birth names – was chosen today, I discovered that the only way Facebook really keeps track is if they were told about us. That means that someone, most likely a “friend”, made the point to tell Facebook about us and mention that we’re not a real person. Except of course, we are.

Upset? Yes. Wounded? Sure. Done? Not even close. We’re just getting started.

So instead of working on the other projects today, Amanda and I have been scrambling to get the page together, tell people what happened, we’ve BEGGED Duran Duran to retweet our page link (nothing yet, but we’re hopeful – surely they have to know how much we’ve done for this community in the past five years???), and mostly – WE NEED YOU.

Please, please, PLEASE come to the new page. Like it and then share the link with others. We’ve tried to go to some of the pages and groups we know, but to be honest – there are thousands of groups and pages, and only two of us. We need help. Desperately.  Here is the new link to the page, and we hope to see you there.  Send us a note, post to the page…make us laugh, and let’s keep this party going.

https://www.facebook.com/dailyduranieblog

Amanda and I like a good challenge, and maybe this will end up being a good thing in the long run. John Taylor has this saying that is from Eastern philosophy that is on the cover of his (solo) Feelings Are Good CD. Crisis equals opportunity.

We’re going to go with that.

-R

DDM Gold Membership Merchandise Wrap Up

Last week I received an email letting me know that my Duran Duran Music Gold membership merchandise package had been shipped. I was surprised because I’d completely forgotten about it!  I vaguely remembered reading that it would take about 6 weeks (after renewing) to receive the merchandise, and to be honest I couldn’t even remember when I’d actually renewed, but I was excited to read that it was on its way.

The package made it to my house yesterday, and it felt a little like Christmas as I opened the long, rectangular package addressed to me. I didn’t realize that this was coming from DDM until I opened the box and pulled out the first item: an umbrella!

sorry about my beautiful place mat in the background

Admittedly, the umbrella is what sold me on the upgrade to gold membership on DDM. If I think of the amount of times I have said that I needed to bring an umbrella to a DD concert for possible use during White Lines…well, when I saw the gold package included an umbrella, we’ll just say it spoke to me. This umbrella does not disappoint and is not your ordinary drugstore umbrella.  No…this thing is HUGE, measuring about 4 feet across when open (from spine to spine across the middle) It is a push-button automatic open (pull down to release and pack away), and feels very heavy-duty compared to the cheap umbrellas I buy for our California sprinkles over the years.  Two people could easily fit underneath, and if our predicted “El Niño” weather pattern holds true for California this year, I am sure it will get a lot of use!

Yes, those are my cat's paws in the background there. She is incredibly strong-willed and not very well-behaved...and very big.
Yes, those are my cat’s paws in the background there. She is incredibly strong-willed and not very well-behaved…and very big.

After pulling out the umbrella and realizing what this package was, I excitedly pulled the rest of the merchandise out of the box: a t-shirt, a keychain in a black pouch, a power bank, a pen, a pad of post-its, and a lyric sheet.

The t-shirt came to me with the correct size, and when I tried it on, it was very roomy. The silver foil looks great, and I’m very happy with it. I’m pretty sure this is a unisex sized t-shirt, and while I’ve heard of people getting the wrong size, I am happy to say that mine worked out just fine.

tshirt

The keychain (pictured without the pouch) has a nice quality silver-finish, and doubles as a bottle opener (they know their fans and I love the utilitarian value here). The interlocking D’s are engraved on it, and it’s already doing it’s duty on my keychain.

my apologies for the blur here...my phone didn't like taking a picture of this one.
my apologies for the blur here…my phone didn’t like taking a picture of this one.

I can hardly wait to be out and about and use my power bank – especially while on tour with Amanda. Seriously, I’m always out of power with at least ONE of my electronics…so this is handy! I like that the end lights up blue and indicates when it needs charged….and truly, it takes very little to entertain me!!

powerbank

 

The pen is a really fancy ball point pen that I haven’t tried using yet…this will be hidden deep in my closet so that my family doesn’t steal this pen like they have my others…

pen

 

The post-its were probably the least exciting item in my gold package. This is not because I don’t want DD post-its, but because I will be afraid to use them for fear of the day when I run out! I’m the same way about the DD wrapping paper and other “consumable” items that the webstore sells…which probably says way more about me than anyone cares to know…

these are about 2 x 3 inches...about the same size as a typical post it. They're great unless you're like me and afraid of using them all...
these are about 2 x 3 inches…about the same size as a typical post it. They’re great unless you’re like me and afraid of using them all…

The lyric sheet was the one real “miss” in the entire package. You see, when I pulled out all of the merchandise and went through it, I realized that I didn’t have the lyric sheet. So, I looked in the box to see if I missed it. Didn’t see it right away, so then I felt around and sure enough – I found it.  The lyrics are copied onto standard thickness stationary that has a beige stippled look to it.  Kind of reminds me of the kind of paper one would use for a treasure map, so it sort of has that “old” look to it.  Nicer than putting it on a standard piece of copy paper, not quite as nice as having it on cardstock. The problem is that due to the way it was packed along the inside of the rectangle box (to fit the umbrella) and now has fold marks. I didn’t really know what I would do with this, but framing it is kind of out of the question now (probably??) since the paper is now wrinkled…but I don’t think I would have framed it anyway because that’s not really my thing. That said, I know my fellow fans. Someone out there probably would want to frame it, and this is likely going to piss that someone off.  I don’t know what DDM could have done to ship this so that it wouldn’t be folded and wrinkled, except to maybe do the merchandise in two shipments, one for the umbrella and hard sided items and another for these lyrics so they could be shipped flat. Yes, that would cost more, but I think that at least having that option available for fans (to pay for better shipping), might solve the problem. As it is now, I don’t really know what I’m going to do with these lyrics…not that I really knew what to do with them before. It’s one of those things that is nice to have since Simon wrote them (and completely mislabeled the second verse as v1, which makes me laugh because you know that he dashed these off super quick!), and now I get to figure out how best to save them.

lyrics
not sure if this really shows the wrinkles as well as it does in normal light…just don’t say I didn’t warn you if you’re still waiting for your merchandise!

All in all, I’m extremely pleased with the merchandise! No, it wasn’t all that important to have, but they’re nice “extras” and I don’t treat myself to DD merchandise all that often (as in maybe once every couple of years!!). Thumbs up from me!

-R

 

Just Me, I Couldn’t Be Anyone Else

I reiterate that I believe Pressure Off is one of the best Duran Duran radio-ready singles in DECADES. In saying that, I think fans need to understand a few things:

Singles need radio time in order to compete as a hit.

People still listen to radio.  I know, I know… you don’t listen to top 40…you don’t listen to internet radio…you only do Spotify…so on, and so on. Good for you. Here’s the thing: the band doesn’t have to market their music to you and I, because we probably ALREADY BOUGHT IT.  It’s the other 7 and a half billion people (approx!) in the world that they need to hear their music. In order to get it heard, they’ve got to get it out to land radio, internet radio, Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music…etc. etc. Even YouTube! People have to hear the music over and over in order to learn to love it and buy it.

Radio singles are not always the most engrossing songs on an album, and aren’t necessarily the songs that fans are most drawn to.

A lot of times, a song is reworked for radio in order to get it played. Do I need to remind everyone the Kershenbaum remixes for Rio? If I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen a fan say that they love the deeper cuts off of the Duran albums and that they wished they’d play those types of songs live instead of all the hits, I’d be able to afford platinum VIP at every single show and then some! The point is, we’re hardcore fans. I think singles, for the most part, are the tool to get the other people interested. Once you’ve whetted that interest, you are either just going to stick with the surface or you’re going to dig in a little deeper and find the music that really defines the band for the rest of us. I don’t personally think it’s any surprise that a lot of fans scratch their heads in wonder at the singles that have been chosen over the years. Again, if I had a dollar for every fan that thought Falling Down was a poor choice for a single, I’d be rich. Yes, I know that once upon a time Rio, Hungry Like the Wolf, Is There Something I Should Know, etc, etc were all singles that had heavy radio rotation and we all loved them. We were also (mainly) kids back then, and our tastes are what defined what was on the radio. We were the golden demographic, so to speak. Things have changed since 1984.

It is a VERY different world, both on radio and off, in 2015… from 1984.

We didn’t have internet during my formative years, we didn’t have satellite radio, and we certainly didn’t form opinions on bands or videos from watching YouTube. We watched MTV, we listened to land-based radio, and we had brick and mortar record stores to spend hours wandering and listening within. Now we have a 24-hour news cycle, and information is literally at our fingertips. There is no such thing as downtime, from the moment we wake until the time our heads hit the pillow. If you’re like most people, your phone is beside you at the ready, should anything pressing happen at 3am. Nothing holds our interest for very long these days. It used to be that a band could release a single like Pressure Off and then allow it to “stew” for months, getting radio time, having videos up on MTV…and charts would respond accordingly. Top 40 radio played what we liked. I remember stations like KROQ, KIQQ, and even KIIS FM here in Los Angeles…they ALL had DD on heavy rotation, and even when they weren’t playing DD, they were playing music I knew and loved.

The music that you and I listened and loved in 1984 is not music that would get much airtime today on a typical (top 40) radio station.

I don’t think it’s any surprise that just about the time I really stopped enjoying the music on top 40 radio that I was nearly out of my twenties. No longer do my tastes, or those of my peers, dictate what is being played. The band has really had quite a challenge in front of them, trying to get air play in an ageist world where radio has already decided they are not the right demographic. How can they stay relevant and STILL remain true to themselves, their longtime fans, and their musical history?

Do you all remember Red Carpet Massacre? From the first listen to Night Runner,  I was thoroughly convinced that the band was trying incredibly hard to fit into a space that they really had no business owning. I saw them playing Night Runner more than once, and their discomfort was palatable. It never felt like the band was completely comfortable with the music; in turn, I was never comfortable with much off that album (although there are still songs such as The Valley that are outstanding). I remain incredulous that they choose Timbaland as a producer. I still feel that the songs he produced are among the weakest on the album.  I was (and am!) public with my scrutiny, and I took massive heat on a few message boards at the time for doing so. “How can you call yourself a fan?”…”You have to stop expecting the band to remake Rio”…”They are trying to remain relevant, why don’t you support that?”…and my favorite, “Maybe you just don’t get modern music.”  (Maybe not!!)

I can accept a lot of that scrutiny. The band was trying to be a little more urban, so to speak. They took a great risk, musically. They wanted to glean a little of that modern music attitude from Timbaland and Timberlake. Maybe they got what they wanted out of that album, and maybe they realized that while it was a great experiment, they are better off in another direction. I don’t know and I don’t claim otherwise. It’s all part of their ongoing narrative. Oh, and maybe I just don’t get modern music.  Definitely.

The funny thing is, I’ve been reading Facebook and Twitter, and I’ve read and responded to  comments on our YouTube review. (Yes, it’s long. It’s unabashedly Amanda and I. We had fun with it which is why it works!) Some of the very same people who took great pleasure in  flaming me on various message boards back in the days of Night Runner and RCM are among the people that are openly panning Pressure Off…for a lot the very same reasons I knocked Night Runner.

“They’re trying too hard to be on radio.” 

“It’s not intricate enough, too simple. Too plain”

“It’s not a good first single”

“It doesn’t sound like Duran Duran”

 

Some fans have even compared Pressure Off to songs off of RCM in that the band still hasn’t learned their lesson, and continues to try way too hard to create a hit single rather than just writing music they want to write. That criticism would be far more respected (by me) if it weren’t for the fact that some of these same fans openly applauded Night Runner and RCM when it was released.

So about the complaint that Pressure Off doesn’t sound like Duran Duran…I have an experiment to try. Put Pressure Off in a playlist and listen on random like this one here.  (Thanks @expired_data!)

I can accept that argument for a song like Night Runner, at least to some extent because the typical Duran Duran instrumentation definitely isn’t there, and aside from hearing Simon’s voice, there really isn’t a lot to that song that makes it Duran Duran.  In the case of Pressure Off? Listen to Notorious for the guitar. Listen to All You Need is Now for the keyboards and other production aspects. Listen to Astronaut for the clear vocals during the verses, and listen to just about ANY Duran Duran song from 1982 onward for stacked harmonies in the chorus. Those elements, among many, many others, make Pressure Off a Duran Duran song.

Ultimately though, Pressure Off is the first single off of an album that most of us haven’t even heard. Of course it’s OK not to like a particular song – Daily Duranie would among the very last to say otherwise. As Simon himself said on a previous Katy Kafe, they want Paper Gods to be heard by listeners beyond the core fan base. They need us: the hardcore, long time fans, to help bring this album to the masses. We may not immediately fall in love with everything on it, but I’d be very careful not to write the entire album off due to one song. As with most DD albums, I’d guess that the real gems, particular for long time fans, are yet to be discovered.

-R

Past is another country

I’ve been spending part of my morning catching up on the world, which means that yes, I’ve been watching some video from Night at the Park in The Hague this past weekend.

Since I’m reasonably good with sharing and not running with scissors much these days, I will gladly post the link here for all to enjoy.

I have to admit that under normal circumstances – I might click on the video, watch a couple of minutes paying less than half-attention. I rarely allow myself the luxury of just sitting and just watching. Normally I’ll click on the video and listen while I’m doing something else.  The only time I really let myself just watch is when I’m at Amanda’s house – and then I spend my time pouring through her massive DVD archives of videos, interviews, TV appearances and even shows.  I don’t know why that is, but here at home, I just rarely watch, until this morning.

I watched the whole video and found myself smiling through most of it. Even though I’ve seen Notorious in person 5000 times (a slight exaggeration!), I still watched. Even though I know all the words to All You Need is Now and probably can do all of Simon’s moves in my sleep, I still couldn’t help but give a toothy grin when Simon walks over to Dom and sings “Everybody’s gunning for the VIP section; but you’re better up and running in another direction” with him (still a fangirl, yes).  I noticed fellow Duranies on the barricades, smiled at the memory of seeing/meeting those people in person and just enjoyed seeing Duran Duran, even if only by video. You’d swear I hadn’t seen them in years instead of it only being since April.

That’s the thing about Duran Duran. There are times when I start to think that maybe I’m just getting bored of it all, or that life has just moved on and I just need to realize it’s all over, and I’ll see something or I’ll hear a new song, and that old feeling comes right back. My genuine love for the band is undeniable. I can’t imagine my life, even my adult-life, without them in it. I can’t even begin to wonder how bored I’d be without the blog, without Facebook and Twitter, without the plotting and planning for shows and visits.  I look at Simon, John, Nick & Roger and still see the same guys I had (have) wallpapered on my wall in my bedroom (or walk-in-closet).  Seeing Simon smile when he’s singing still makes me smile. Those are the tiny, little moments that I wish I could bottle for myself when I’m feeling down, or just completely out of it.

I read earlier today that the US Ambassador (Matthew Barzun) to the UK invited Duran Duran to play a private event in London to commemorate the 239th anniversary of the Independence of America. While I’m amused by the entire thought (So…the US Ambassador is going to host a big party in the largest private residence in the UK outside of Buckingham Palace to celebrate being independent from where? Oh that’s right…from England…and we’re going to invite a band from that very country to come and play, too. And who is paying for this party? That’s right, US taxpayers. Full. Of. Irony. Brilliant!), I have to admit that one particular note made me stop and think.  The band is planning to play Pressure Off live. Truthfully, my first thought was “Oh, so out of all of the possible places, in front of fans, that they could choose to finally play this song – they’re going to play it in front of a bunch of politicians instead. I did enjoy the spin that DDHQ put on it though, saying that America has always been a great friend to Duran Duran (which is true if I don’t say so myself).  The thing is, at the end of the day it really doesn’t matter where they play the song first. Eventually, we’ll all hear and see it, and I must admit that the very last thing I’m going to be thinking about when I finally see the band on tour is where they chose to debut Pressure Off first.

Nope, I’ll be far too busy dancing, singing, and smiling until my cheeks hurt.

May the fangirl (or fanboy!) within ever reign.

-R

 

 

Top Ten Duran Duran Presale Anxieties

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

TEN!

alarm-clock-
You sleep through the presale!!

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

NINE!

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

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

EIGHT!

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

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

SEVEN!

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

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

SIX!!

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

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

FIVE!

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

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

FOUR!

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

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

THREE!

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

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

TWO!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-R