Tag Archives: Duranies

Guest Blog: Duran Duran Is

By PamG

Last week I saw the spectacular documentary David Bowie Is, a companion documentary and virtual tour guide about the museum exhibit of the same name.

David Bowie Is wall

I admit that I was only moderately interested in seeing this film. I liked Serious-Moonlight-era Bowie. I know he was a major influence on a lot of musicians I like, including Duran. And since my local indie theater was one of the many across the nation to show the one-night-only screening (sound familiar?), I decided to take a chance.

My first Duran comparison came when I entered the theater and was pleasantly disappointed: the theater was almost full. Why was that disappointing? Because the recent one-night-only Unstaged showing (at a different theater in the same city) had probably only 1/10th of the audience that this film had. I couldn’t help but wish that Unstaged had a crowd like this, had received as much local advertising as Bowie’s film, and had been introduced by the theater’s program director who invigorated the crowd before the curtain went up.

Why was that a pleasant disappointment? Because it served as a reminder to me that we Duranies are part of a larger community. We’re not just Duran fans; we’re fans. Judging by the estimated ages of the crowd, I think most folks who came to see the film were around for the Ziggy Stardust era. This wasn’t much unlike when I looked around during the Unstaged screening. Or any of the Duran concerts I’ve been to. Or Durandemonium last year. For a lot of us, we’re fans of these artists because we grew up with them.

At some moments during the film, I witnessed some audience members bobbing their heads along to not-as-well-known (to me) Bowie songs. I instantly felt like I was on the other side of the looking glass. Were they enjoying their own Bowie version of Last Chance on the Stairway? Did I happen to catch them reveling in their own version of “switch it off?” Do they have their own inside Bowie-isms? Were they itching to get out of their seats to dance along to their version of “Rio?”

What dawned on me was that this film was not only a tribute to the legendary rock star and his influence in music, fashion, and art, but also a tribute to the fans. The exhibit is a befitting homage to Bowie’s life and career to date. However, the film adds a new angle: the reaction from those experiencing the exhibit. The film shows visitors inspecting the handwritten lyrics, watching the performance footage, inching closer to see the detail in the decadent costumes. The film editors could have easily filmed the exhibit when it was closed and simply relayed to us what was in the exhibit. But this way, we also got the fan perspective of the exhibit.

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As you might guess, my mind overflowed with the mere thought of what it would be like if Duran had a similar exhibit. We’ve already been lucky enough to have some impressive collections, such as Beautiful Colors: The Posters of Duran Duran from Andrew Golub (Durandy) and Denis O’Regan’s ‘Careless Memories’ book and exhibit. But could you even imagine an exhibit that would encompass the band’s history, videos, live performances, costumes (maybe there are some we’d rather forget), handwritten lyrics, Simon’s tiger baby necklace, or even one of John’s fedoras? (Side note: I think my favorite moment from the film was when the fan turned to the camera and proclaimed “Bowie’s DNA is in those costumes!” Duranies would swoon. Oh, now, get your mind out of the gutters … you know who you are!)

Something Bowie’s exhibit would have in common with Duran’s hypothetical exhibit would be the collaborations. The film focused a bit on Bowie’s artistic collaborations with the likes of Iggy Pop, Brian Eno, and Japanese fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto. Duran’s would have to include David Lynch, Mark Ronson, Nile Rodgers, Dolce & Gabbana, and more. Like Bowie, Duran has extended their artistic collaborations to more than just music.

The final piece of the exhibit was a Periodic Table of Bowie, created by Paul Robertson. Designed in the format of the periodic table of elements, this clever infographic depicts the influences on Bowie, as well as those who have been influenced by Bowie. Among those influenced by Bowie are Lady Gaga, Morrissey, and Alexander McQueen. I was shocked that Duran didn’t make the chart. Shocked. But hey, we know that if Duran had their own periodic table, we’d have to put Bowie as one of their influencers.

So who or what is David Bowie? The film and exhibit certainly provide you with many suggested ways to finish the “David Bowie Is” statement. Do I think David Bowie is Duran Duran? Nope. I think what matters is what Duran Duran is to you.

The David Bowie Is exhibit is at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago now through January 4, 2015. Click here for more information.

Read more about the documentary here.

Have any of you seen the exhibit in person? Anyone else see the film? We’d love to hear your experience!

PamG

PamG has been a Duranie since the early days of MTV. In addition to all-things Duran, she also enjoys music documentaries, pop culture trivia, and live concerts of any kind. Her Duran dream would be to journey across the pond and see the band play throughout Europe. After waiting over 25 years to see Duran Duran live, she saw her first show in 2011 and it changed her life.

Time is a River

I’m coming out of hiding today to make mention of a very special “anniversary” of sorts.  For those who have known me since the hallowed days of DDF – you might already be aware.  If not, allow me to age everyone properly.

On this date, TEN very short years ago, a little convention began in New Orleans called 78-04: Friends of Mine Duran Duran Fan Convention.  It began on what was a Friday night and went straight through to Sunday, and for me personally it was a completely life-changing experience.

I hear a lot of you right now: Who really says that?!? I mean, it was really just a big party, wasn’t it? Who checks out of their life for a few days to go have fun, only to come back saying it completely changed the whole course of their life?  Believe me, I see the irony there, and I would normally agree with the naysayers out there. Except of course, I was there, and through much soul-searching, I see how the event really did change me.

Maybe it wasn’t so much of a change as it woke up my “inner-Rhonda”. I’ve written about this so many times here on the blog now that I worry it’s lost it’s appeal.  All I really know is that I really do believe that there are moments in our lives where we come upon forks in the road, and the direction we choose makes all the difference. This convention, and choosing to not only attend but to help organize it, really did change my direction. I will always hold that weekend, along with the months of planning prior, very dear to my heart.  So much has changed since that weekend in 2004, and yet I can’t believe it’s been ten years since I met Jessica, Mac, Amanda, Mags, Lisa, Krissie, Carla…and so many others in person.

I spent time yesterday and last night thinking about the convention and specific little things that happened, hoping to come up with a list. Maybe those who were there that weekend will have others to share…but here are some of mine:

*Having Jessica meet me at our hotel room that night. From the very second I met her, I knew I’d done the right thing when I got involved planning the convention and flying to New Orleans to attend.

*Sharing a hotel room with Lisa, Mags, Jessica and Carla.  We all fit and had a great time! This was also, I believe, the first, last and only time that I attended a Duranie event without sharing a room with Amanda (she cannot say the same!)

* Seeing Jessica’s red hair and watching it fade throughout the weekend. I don’t know why that sticks with me so much, but I remember thinking that I wanted to be the type of person that would die my hair vibrant red. (I eventually did not that long ago…and my red streaks faded to magenta right away too. LOL)

*Laughing at Lisa and a few others suck helium and say “Good evening and welcome to our show!” as we decorated for the dance party on Saturday night.  Some might roll their eyes and say “because that’s never been done before”…but the thing is, for me, I’d never seen anyone do it before that night.

* Listening to Mac tell us how Bourbon Street roped her (and a friend) in and tied them up.  I think Mac became my hero that weekend.

* Displaying all of my Duranie pins and t-shirts with pride that weekend. It was the first time in I don’t know how long that I felt comfortable wearing a Duran t-shirt without people giving me strange looks, and if you know me – you know how self-conscious I can be.

*Listening to a copy of Astronaut before it was released *gasp* and declaring that the band “had ruined”  What Happens Tomorrow (compared to what I’d already heard them do live).  That’s right, even back then I was filled with nasty little opinions that I couldn’t keep to myself!

*Standing up and giving a speech in front of the crowd that night. Even though I had been president of my local MOMS club and involved in PTA for my kids school – I was nervous to be standing up there, but it was the very first time I can ever remember feeling like I really did fit in.

* Watching all of the men (both Duranies and Duranie husbands) grab chairs and sit down right directly in front of the screening area to watch The Chauffeur when the video played at the dance party.

*Buying drinks with Amanda at the dance party. I can’t remember if I was drinking gin and tonic or vodka and tonic that night (both are favorites)…but we very clearly started a tradition for ourselves.

*Commenting on Amanda wearing these boots with (what I felt were) high heels all over Bourbon Street. I don’t wear heels – ever – due to horrible neuromas on the bottom of my feet, so I marveled at how she could walk in those things. I was wearing flip flops, which are still my shoe of choice!

* Singing Rio on stage at what was then Howl at the Moon. (I’d say “Thank goodness there’s no video of that”….alas…it’s out there somewhere.)

*Saying good-bye to everyone on Sunday morning. I had such a great weekend, and I secretly worried about whether I would really see any of them again. How do you bond so quickly with people you’ve met in real life only once?  That Duranie connection runs very, very deep.

Thinking about that weekend makes me want to do it all over again. I swore I was done with New Orleans after Voodoo…but I don’t know….

Happy memories, everyone. I continue to thank my lucky stars that I met you all. Despite, time, distance and changes – my love and friendship runs very, very deep.

-R

1875 and counting…

1,875 posts. There is this nifty little tool here in WordPress where Amanda and I are able to properly track what is going on with this blog. We can see how many people subscribe by email, how many just read here online, what posts people tend to read most…and the list of stats goes on and on.  What I can tell you today is that as of the post I just published prior to drafting this one, we’ve written 1,875 posts. That is definitely a little more than a post a day, but we didn’t really start doing that until this past year when we moved to WordPress, so I’d say we’ve been busy.

If you didn’t already hear, we celebrated the fourth “anniversary” of this blog on Saturday. We call it a birthday because honestly, who doesn’t love a party?!? We celebrated with a online viewing party, utilizing a Daily Duranie Youtube playlist that Amanda and I had put together. We had a lot of fun, laughing at the comments and seeing friends who had stopped by to say hi and watch some videos with us!

Additionally, we had three fun little giveaways planned. The first two (one each for Facebook and Twitter) were based on people sending us their very best “DoJo” picture. Amanda and I each chose a favorite, which was a lot of fun because we had quite a few to choose from! Winners get their choice of a Daily Duranie coffee mug or a shot glass! The winners of that contest were Irene Turner and Leslie Kincaid! The second one, thanks to our friend Karen Booth, was  for a signed copy of her book, Bring Me Back. For that contest, we picked out a few blog titles we’d written over the years and had a bit of a scavenger hunt – all we really wanted to know was what the the blog that went with each title was about. The winner for that contest was Debbie from Twitter, so a copy of Karen’s book will be on it’s way shortly!

Winning DoJo entries:

 

I’ve said it before, but I am pretty sure I didn’t think about how long this blog would continue on the fateful day that I announced to Amanda, “Hey, we should do a blog since we’re working on this book!! Want me to get one together?!?” I’m also pretty sure that Amanda didn’t have any idea what I was getting her into on that day, because she agreed to try it! For me personally, the blog goes beyond writing a manuscript or being a fan. This whole “Daily Duranie” thing has taken on a life of it’s own. Some days, I feel like I’m dragging it uphill behind me, and on other days, I feel like I had better hold on tight because this thing is taking off like a rocket for a very wild ride. It’s been a crazy trip so far with much more to come, I am certain. However, for this occasion, I came up with four things about this blog (specifically the blog, not the book, not the band…etc.) that I am thankful for. My four “positives”, so to speak….one for each of the four “anniversaries” or “birthdays” we’ve celebrated thus far:

1. I would say that most people don’t realize that this blog shares it’s “birthday” with another birthday – my dad’s. He passed away in 2008, and he would have turned 75 this year. Rather than being sad on September 13, I am joyful because I’ve passed another milestone year with this blog. My dad was my hero in many, many ways that someday I might write about, but not now. I just know I’m so incredibly thankful that life has worked out this way, so that I don’t spend that day thinking of the what I’ve lost, but rather what I’ve gained.

2. There was once a period of my life, in high school no less, where I was so shy I had trouble working up the nerve to order my own food at McDonalds. I am not kidding, and I know I’m weird that way because while I couldn’t order my own food – I was drum major of the marching band, calling out commands to a group of 175 of my peers. Nutty, right? Talk about forcing yourself out of a comfort zone!! Nowadays I push myself to ask celebrities and important people for interviews for this blog – something that does not come at all naturally. Just last week I interviewed someone over the phone, and my nerves were at an all-time high, but I got through it, and more importantly, I really enjoyed doing it.

3. I should probably talk about my own fandom here. I think that without the blog, it would probably be fairly easy for me to just put Duran Duran on the back burner. I’m a busy mom, my husband isn’t really a fan, and I don’t have a group of friends here in California that are fans either. The blog forces me to stay in tune with what’s going on even when it might be easier for me to just focus on whatever is going on here at home. Sometimes that is remarkably easy, and other times – the band is in the middle of recording an album and there’s not a lot to keep us all going. I’ve learned to appreciate some of the smallest things – a tweet here or there, a news byte, or even unearthing a video I’ve never seen. I don’t expect all fans to be like that, but Amanda and I made a commitment to BE HERE even when the band is not, and we take that (although not necessarily ourselves) very seriously.

4. Writing this blog has taught me a lot about friendship. To begin with, I have a group of friends that I may not have ever met had it not been for Daily Duranie. I have friends in different states, different countries and even different continents. I’ve also learned that my friends, the real ones, are there for me even if I don’t see them every day, every week or even every year. They are the people that make the effort. They show up. Who knew that writing a blog would do all of this? Certainly not me.

I only covered four things here, but as I continue to sit and reflect, I know these are just the tip of the iceberg, and these four positives aren’t necessarily even the largest positives I could choose. I didn’t even mention all of the traveling or the increased sense of self-purpose or just the personal acceptance I feel on a daily basis, and for someone like me, who spent the majority of her life as a “wallflower”, hoping to fade into the wallpaper and not be noticed, I would have never guessed that writing a simple blog would turn my life completely around.

I said it on Saturday but it bares repeating, I tip my glass (well, this morning it’s really my coffee cup) to my partner-in-crime, Amanda. I hope that this is really just the beginning and that we’ve got at least four more even crazier years ahead. It’s wild to me that we’ve already been writing this blog for four years. How did we ever come up with that much to say?!?

And again, thank YOU. We would probably write even if no one ever read the blog, but because people do, it makes the journey that much sweeter. We hope you find us funny, insightful, intelligent, and even exasperating at times, and we look forward to hearing from you when any or all of that happens!!

-R

I’ll Drink It Up, Drink It Up, Drink It Up (Daily Duranie Birthday Drinking Game)

Tomorrow is our birthday!!!  I’m super duper excited about it!  I think this really is going to be the best birthday yet to start what I believe is going to be an amazing year for us!  As Rhonda mentioned earlier this week on this blog post, we are having a party!  This party will take place online in both Facebook (our event page is here) and Twitter (@dailyduranie, using the hashtag #DailyDBday14) at the following time:  Time: 11:00am-3:00pm (PDT); 1:00pm-5:00pm (CDT); 2:00pm-6:00pm (EDT); 7:00pm-11:00pm (UK time zone UTC+0.00).

When the party time hits, we will direct everyone to our YouTube channel to check out the party playlist!  We have taken quite a bit of time this week coming up with our favorites!!!  Can you guess ahead of time what any of them will be?!?  Of course, as the video clips change, we will alert people on Facebook and Twitter.

Beyond the video watching, we promised a drinking game!  Of course, we did!  How could we not?!  We have a reputation to uphold, after all, don’t we?!  (Our favorite drink is vodka tonic.  We hope that you might choose that one, too, in celebration!)  What does the drinking game entail, you might be asking!  I have that answer for you here:

Daily Duranie Birthday Celebration Drinking Game Rules:

Take one sip/drink (depending on your preference) every time one of the following takes place!

*A DoJo Moment (Dom and John)
*A JoSi Moment (John and Simon)
*Simon doing one of his humorous “dances”
*When Dom shakes the neck of his guitar
*When John claps to get the audience clapping
*When someone does or says something to make you laugh
*Anytime the word “fan” is said
*Anytime the footage causes you to “squee”
*Anytime Nick takes a picture
*Anytime Roger twirls his stick

10 items!  That isn’t too bad, right?  I’m sure that we will all be reminding each other of this list as we watch and celebrate!

We are also set with giveaways!  In fact, we have 3 things to give away!!!!  We figured this number made sense since there are two of us, doing this one blog and two plus one equals 3!  (Yes, we are dorky.  I completely admit it.)  Seriously, we are WAY too excited about these giveaways!!!  Here is how they will work.  Soon after the festivities begin, Rhonda and/or myself will announce the giveaways.  Then, there will be time for people to complete the necessary tasks before we declare the three winners.

I am SO looking forward to this!  Who doesn’t like to watch Duran videos all day?  Who doesn’t love to hang out with other Duranies?  The giveaways are going to be ton of fun!  I cannot wait!

Until then, we want to thank those of you who have supported us, in any way, shape or form, including buying something at our Cafe Press store.  We appreciate each and every one of you!

On that note, rest up.  Saturday is going to be a ton of fun!!!

-A

 

It’s our party!!

I have something shocking to share with all of you.  I think that in the interest of safety, everyone should probably sit down while they read this next sentence.

The Daily Duranie is turning FOUR YEARS OLD on Saturday.

I don’t know where the last four years have gone. I can remember the very day I started this blog (on Blogger, we moved to WordPress this past January) as though it was just last week.  Furthermore, I’m really kind of shocked people still READ the blog…and even more so, I’m surprised Amanda and I have found that much to write about.  Four years of writing a blog every single day.  We started off writing one blog a day, and now we’re up to writing at least two, and sometimes four or more.  It’s as though we’re addicts!

So, in honor of this occasion, in true Duranie (or Daily Duranie) fashion – we’re having a party, and we’re inviting all of you!  This Saturday, September 13, we’re having an online party using Twitter and Facebook.

What I’m truly excited about though, is that I have finally tested the YouTube Channel waters, and am in the middle of compiling and devising a special playlist for our birthday party!!  (No fair peeking ahead of time!)  Our playlist is going to be made up of lots of footage and videos, interviews, concert clips that we love most! (Amanda and I. It’s our party, we get to choose. LOL)  You should probably prepare yourselves for a lot of John Taylor, JoSi moments, DoJo moments, and Dom Brown.  It’s going to be a really tough day for Amanda and I, as you can probably tell.

Things you should know:

Date: Saturday, September 13

Time: 11:00am-3:00pm (PDT); 1:00pm-5:00pm (CDT); 2:00pm-6:00pm (EDT); 7:00pm-11:00pm (UK time zone UTC+0.00)  

We tried to make a time that would be at least semi-convenient for as many Duranies as possible (we’re shooting high hoping that it’s not just going to be Amanda and I chatting with one another all day, but if it is…we’re gonna have fun anyway!), and the party is four hours long because well, the blog is turning four!!

Activities: Amanda and I will be live-tweeting and on Facebook during that entire time. The hashtag for the event is #DailyDBday14, and we will begin the “Happy Birthday Daily Duranie” playlist on our YouTube channel right at 11am. We will tweet or post what video we’re on so that if you come in at any time during the party, you can find the video in our playlist and join in. 

Drink of the day: This is Daily Duranie. Did you think there wouldn’t be a suggested drink?!?  We drink Vodka Tonics – so that’s the drink.  In case you need a recipe:

Vodka Tonic
Vodka (We like Tito’s and Grey Goose , but it’s your choice)
Tonic water
Ice
Lime (this is really important, IMO.)

Pour at least a shot of vodka (I said at least, but this is purely up to you – remember life is a marathon, not a sprint.) in a short  glass with ice. (or a tall one if you’re like us and prefer doubles. I don’t know what that says about us. :P).  Fill the glass the rest of the way with tonic water. Finish with a squeeze of lime and then stir.  EASY!

Games: This is a birthday party, of COURSE there are games!!  We are going to have a drinking game that will be announced in the next couple of days, and we are also going to have two (one on Facebook and another on Twitter) super-special giveaway contests that will be announced AT the party!  

We really appreciate the support we’ve gotten from the community over the years. We realize that not everyone appreciates or likes what we do, but we hope that for those who do choose to read each day or each week that we’re making fandom fun. We really want to do more to make this into a sort of “fan club” that many of us have envisioned over the years, but that takes money and time.  We do what we can, but we really need your help!

If you really want to support us, come hang out on Saturday, check out our Cafepress store and support Daily Duranie if you haven’t already, watch some videos, and let’s have some fun!!

-R

 

Duran Duran – Fashion Rocks

Last night, Duran Duran appeared on Fashion Rocks, which was broadcast on CBS stations here in the US, and if you were lucky – you were also able to catch the international live stream.

This was not the first time that the band had appeared on the show. They also appeared on the first two in 2003 and 2005, and this is actually the third time there has been a Fashion Rocks show, so I daresay that this point – the band OWNS the show.  (I’m a loyal fan, no matter what!)

For me personally, I spent the afternoon anxious as certain not-exactly-band-members sent photos of everything from the apparent
“liquid lunch rider” (A rider is basically known as the requirements a particular band or performer has tacked onto a performance contract. For example, Duran Duran has a rider for when they go on tour or perform somewhere and it can include everything from the type of bottled water they prefer to specific types of candy they want stocked or what wine and food they want in their dressing rooms.) to a pre-show selfie…to a photo of a very shirtless (and hairy) Paul Stanley from KISS.  I felt like I was there…or at least 2500 miles away watching it all from my computer screen.

Oh wait.

As I said more than once over Twitter, I was getting more and more anxious for a show that I wasn’t even going to be in the audience to see.  For me, this has been one of the longer Duran Duran “droughts” I’ve experienced in a while, and although I know many of you have been touting your patience and unconcern for the next tour for the past couple of years…I, on the other hand, feel like it’s been forever. If that makes me crazy or insane, I would just like to remind you that you’re reading a Duran Duran fan blog that *I* take time to write nearly every day.  I think the “insane” part has been well-documented, don’t you?

Between Mr. Dom Brown, the rest of the band, and quite frankly – the rest of the country – because I am on the west coast, where we didn’t see the show until a good three hours AFTER everyone else, I was on pins and needles by 9pm. (Ok really it was more like 6:30 pm my time, but who is really paying that much attention?!?) It was fun seeing everyone tweet about how great the band looked and sounded. I couldn’t wait to see them for myself.

So, that brings me to last night’s show. Truth be told, I am not necessarily a fan of Usher, Enrique, Miranda Lambert, Pitbull or whomever else I had to endure to get to the Duran Duran portion of the evening. Thank goodness for Twitter, where I could let my thoughts flow like stream-of-consciousness poetry. (I apologize to my Twitter followers, if I have any left this morning.) The good news is, my previous proclamation, that Duran Duran OWNS Fashion Rocks, was proven true. They were all over that show last night. If they weren’t on stage, they were being announced as a “coming up soon” act. I saw more of All You Need is Now (the video) than I’d seen in months (well, aside from the 50,000 times I’ve tearfully watched my own copy, sobbing about my loneliness into my coffee in the morning as I prepare to compose the blog each day), and during the time I watched the show – there was even a cute little interview segment where they replayed clips I’d already seen from the Road to Fashion Rocks.  All in all, I think the show should be renamed “Duran Duran and Fashion Rocks”, because they do.  Well…Duran does. I’m still not into the whole fashion gig. (Sorry Nick, but you already confiscated my Duranie card from the last time I said that.)

However, there was one portion of the evening that garnered my interest, and that was of course the point just after the Road to Fashion Rocks clips ended. Nico and Vinz and Afrojack both did a little something with Duran songs for their part, and then the whole reason for this show existing appeared onstage to play a little medley of The Reflex, Girl Panic and my personal favorite, Hungry Like the Wolf.

Here is a video of that performance, which I like because it gives a completely different point of view from what we saw on television last night because the person was there at the event. It’s a great overview, and I’m not distracted by Simon’s beautiful ring, his shoes (which I adore)…or anyone else who happened to get camera time:

To recap: The show should be renamed Duran Duran and Fashion Rocks…or better yet, just Duran Duran Rocks…I’m envious of lunchtime riders and selfies outside of dressing rooms… I like Simon’s shoes a lot..they didn’t show enough of John on TV last night and too much of the female percussionist…and I’m anxious for new music and a tour.  I think that about covers it. At least what I’m willing to say publicly, anyway.

So what did you think of the show…and is anyone else looking forward to the time when we’re talking pre-sales and we’re plotting our escapes from reality so that we can go play with the band?!?

-R

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today in Duran History – Bristol

On todays date in 2011, Duran Duran played at the Trinity Center in Bristol , UK.  This date was the third show to be played after Simon LeBon’s vocal chords healed enough to be able to perform after having to cancel 47 dates included in the All You Need is Now World tour in 2011-2012. This show, along with three other very small UK gigs, were dubbed “the rehearsal gigs”, as the band prepared to go back out on tour. Duranies were elated that Simon’s voice had returned, seemingly stronger than it had ever been prior.

I’ve found a video clip to share (thanks to Mimi!!) and you BET I’m gonna show Secret Oktober!!!

-R

 

 

 

 

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!!

-R

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.

-R