Tag Archives: Durantime

Guest Blog: It’s Darkest Before the Dawn

By Nat Mingo

It’s Darkest before the Dawn

Paper Gods will turn five years old this September.  We, fans, are on the verge of five years without new music.  So, I’m unsurprised that it seems a little bleak in the Duran fandom now.  We should be experts at waiting between albums. Years long interludes have always been part of the band’s creative process. I’ve read articles about musicians (young & old) facing the pressures from their labels demanding new chart busting music every year.  This phenomenon is universal. Duran has the self-awareness to honor their creative endeavors with the gift of time. This tendency has been documented as the band has switched labels and sought new ways to release their music. 

My perspective changed when I compared my career with Duran Duran’s career.  Duran began releasing music in 1980. My career began in 1995. Although they started fifteen years before me, we are both veterans of our respective industries.  We both continue to work in our fields. There are certain traits that must be used to reach this longevity. Let’s examine some of these traits.  

Know Thyself

Social media allows the band’s marketing team to release studio photos and monthly interviews. I enjoy the moments when the band reveals their creative process. As a listener/reader of such material, it’s obvious that the band creates music collaboratively.  There was a time when Simon was the sole lyricist; now Nick will contribute as well. Roger and John openly speak about how they “groove” with each other and work to intertwine their efforts with Simon’s lyrics and Nick’s contributions. I’m in my twenty-fifth year working within my organization. I’ve attended meetings where someone else has made suggestions on how I should do my job.  Anger has sparked within me (sometimes) before I can calmly articulate my process. I am the only one who knows the budget, the time frames, the other individuals, and must perform knowing these restraints. So, I can respect that Duran Duran knows their best working conditions, as I do, and they work accordingly. They can be unbothered with fan opinions. 


2020 marks the band’s fortieth anniversary. The band just released a new shirt/hoodie line bearing an old lyric; this release sparked joy for some fans. Many of us are hopeful for more commemorative events. Pop Smoke, Lexii Alijai & Juice Wrld were all upcoming, young artists that died within the last three months. I think it’s wonderful that the band is still making music and I don’t take it for granted.  Perhaps part of Duran’s longevity is because the band members know when to step back from creating music and touring. They are sons, husbands, fathers, father-in-laws and grandfathers. They have hobbies and friends. They vacation and spend time with loved ones. I have created boundaries with my job as well. I try not to check email over the weekends or when we have breaks. I communicate with my closest professional circle but I’m radio silent with others when it’s our downtime.  I’m a daughter, sister, and Auntie. I have hobbies and friends. I vacation and spend time with my family. As humans, these private interludes can create a peace that will sustain you in the workplace. It’s healthy to nurture personal self-outside of professional self. When I take a day off from my job, they find a replacement. When the band takes time away from making music, we fans, will find and listen to different musicians. Music doesn’t stop. 


Several fans have expressed how they enjoy interacting/viewing with the band post-concert.  It may be sharing a bar with Simon, seeing Nick stroll through a hotel lobby, watching John collect luggage in an airport or waving at Roger as he enters an awaiting vehicle. I appreciate when fans share these moments through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  These moments are precious because the band tours efficiently now. Many of us have Sing Blue Silver items that documented their tour life during that album cycle. Duran Duran now know when to fly in and out of a city, what types of interviews spark concert ticket sales, and what types of concerts generate the most income for themselves. I now know when I can stroll into work with a Starbucks coffee right before work commences. There are days when I’m at work long after hours. There are days when I leave soon after the closing bell.  So, we can trust that the band are doing the necessary work now and will when the touring cycle begins again. 

After examining the benefits of being a “veteran”, I’m more at relaxed with our (almost) five years wait.  The band members have expressed a desire to release more music this year. I can trust their instincts. In the meanwhile, I plan to keep enjoying the other parts of my life and hope for new Duran adventures this year.

Walking in Peace with my headphones on,


When I Should Be Feeling Just Right

Have you ever thought what it would have been like to be Duran Duran in 1982? 1984? What would life have been like to be so popular that there was mass hysteria from fans wherever you went? What was it like to have press and the media following you around all of the time? What about a schedule that just didn’t stop? From what I have heard/read, they didn’t get a lot of sleep and certainly didn’t get many days off.

When I was younger, the idea of having an intense life like that appealed to me. I remember thinking in college about how I would do better and be more successful if I found that one thing to focus on. After all, I grew up reading about how passionate Duran Duran was about their career and how that translated to success. My goodness, who hasn’t heard the story about how John and Nick mapped it out in that they would be playing Hammersmith by 1982, Wembly by 1983 and Madison Square Garden by 1984. I looked up to this goal-setting, this focus, and certainly the work ethic I saw. Internalizing that, I believed that this is how success is made.

Then, of course, as the years have gone on, I don’t see quite the same level of intensity. The band does not work seven days a week for 52 weeks a year. No, they take more breaks than they did in 1982 or 1984. I know that this bothers some fans. Heck, it has bothered me before. I remember the time in between All You Need Is Now and Paper Gods in which I wrote countless blogs about how the band needs to hurry up, get to work and get some new music out there. I wasn’t saying that to be a jerk. No, it came from my love for the band. I figured two things. One, if they hurried up, they would have a better chance to capitalize on the momentum they had created with AYNIN. Two, that extreme work ethic proved successful in the past so why wouldn’t it now? Whenever blog posts like that were written, there would always be push-back as people didn’t see the urgency that I felt at the time. Interestingly enough, when people disagreed with me, the reasoning had to do, most of the time, with the idea that you cannot rush art. They need time to create. Very few people commented about how they deserve to *not* have to work all the flipping time.

I admit that I never really considered that side of the argument then. I struggled to see the big picture because I was so emotionally invested. My desire to continue the wave we were on with AYNIN shut out other considerations. Now, though, I see things differently.

As most of you know, ’tis the season for going back to school. In Madison, the kids return the day after Labor Day. Typically, this would mean that this week and next would be spent getting one’s classroom ready, including setting up, planning lessons, etc. This year, though, I have been at work every single day for the past two weeks. Is my classroom ready? No. What about my lessons? Ha. That’s funny. Nope. No way. Instead of all that, I have been busy working on a number of committees. One is to plan special sessions for our incoming 9th graders on their first day. That will be completely over soon. Another one is to implement a new plan, policy and procedure for students late to class. The bulk of the work for that is almost done. The last few are ongoing committees that will meet periodically. While I’m proud of the work that has been done, it has been rather intense or extreme.

The meetings have been mentally exhausting leaving me with little energy or brain power to get anything else done. Then, I have had plans in the evening all week. Many of those are fun but added to my current workload leaves me with little down time and precious few minutes to do anything else that I want or need to do. In the past, I have accepted some of this as the normal path to success. After all, Duran Duran lived and breathed their work for years and it equaled big time success. Heck, I have even been known to seek out more vigorous work with campaigns. Right now, though, I see and feel things differently. I would love a little less extreme. There should be time to do what must be done for work without giving up time to work on our research project or time to get my household chores done.

I have no doubt that the amazing work ethic and extreme focus helped Duran Duran in the early 1980s. I don’t question how it has also led me into success at my jobs. Now, though, I long for a happy medium, a nice balance. I cannot criticize how Duran Duran worked on Paper Gods or the current project as I feel like I get it in a different way now. Intensity is not always the way to go. On that note, I’m off to work for another meeting. I kid you not.


We Need You

I have been thinking a lot about the word, “need,” as opposed to want, wish, hope for, etc. I think about it in terms of my job. What do I really need as a teacher? What do I really need as a fan? What do I really need as a person? This sounds like an easy question but I have decided that it is far more complex than what it initially appears like.

Let’s take fandom. After all, everyone reading this can probably relate to that the most. As news snippets have come out about the writing and recording of the next Duran album, I find myself thinking back to the time in between All You Need Is Now and Paper Gods. I had such an amazing time with AYNIN that I felt a weird sense of desperation. I wrote about my anxiousness about what I thought the band should do in between albums. I probably wrote about playing more shows or releasing something, anything in between. Did I need the band to do that? I probably thought I did then but I’m not sure if that is really what I needed.

Did I suffer immensely between there was a big chunk of time in between All You Need Is Now and Paper Gods? Suffer? I don’t think so. Yes, I would have wanted something from the band to keep all of the awesome feelings continuing but I didn’t *need* it. My fandom remained as did many others’. I might have written about how I thought the band needed to do something to keep their fans loyal to the band, to keep fandom alive. Did some fans leave? Probably. Would some of them have left anyway? Maybe.

Interestingly enough, as I thought about how I thought I needed the band to do something to keep interest, I never once really considered what the band actually needed. Maybe they needed a break or time away from each other. Perhaps, they needed to spend time with friends and/or family. In thinking about this, I realize that my “needs” might be different from their “needs.” Could this happen in real life, too?

As I think about my job, I know that there are some aspects that I really do need to have in place. How do I know? Simple. I know that if I did not have these elements that I would be looking somewhere else. I’ll give an example. I need to be part of a team that I love. I have taught in buildings without being a part of a team. It was lonely and emotionally tough. Now, of course, some people out there might argue that this is still a want rather than a need. I guess it depends on how it is defined. Would I die without it? No. That said, I would leave without my teams. I need it for job satisfaction and my happiness on the job.

What about my needs in my life? I have been thinking hard to determine what I really need. Much like my job, I know that there are some parts of my life that I really require. What I need, though, in my life or my job might be just like the situation with Duran. What I need might be the opposite of what they need. How do I navigate this difference in need? I’m not sure. This I know. I cannot be mad or upset if other people or Duran (as the case might be) have different needs than I do. No one should be blamed for that. At the same token, I think it is totally fine if there are different needs. It doesn’t mean that they are wrong or that I’m wrong. So, if there is something I really need with my fandom or my job or my personal life, it is okay to seek out what I need while I need to be understanding that others might feel differently. It is a weird balance that I am trying to achieve. I know this much. It means cutting Duran and others in my life some slack and asking for others to cut me some slack. Maybe this is my weird attempt at a kinder, gentler version of myself. Perhaps, it is just showing that I’m trying to learn and to be more understanding while asking for the same from others.


Durantime is Contagious! Daily Duranie Book News

It’s been a long time since I mentioned any sort of book news, hasn’t it?

Well, I’m happy to say that we haven’t thrown the manuscript into a fire, nor have we used it to line litter boxes or birdcages. (that’s a joke!)  Believe it or not, it still exists, and we’ve even spent time retooling some of it along the way.  We’ve also learned that Durantime is CONTAGIOUS. (I should have known. Damn that band.)

There are no real excuses here, other than not enough time. Amanda works full-time (and then some), I live 2,500 miles from her. In order to really work on the manuscript at this point, we have to either be together or do marathon Skype calls, both of which we’ve done in order to finish the writing and some massive editing. Then it came down to researching publishers (there are not nearly as many non-fiction publishers as fiction), and putting together book proposals. (One of our biggest challenges with the process is that each publisher has their own list of what must be included in a book proposal, and no two are alike, of course.) Each publisher also handles their own types of books, topics, and lengths, so an author cannot simply just send out 100 proposals to 100 publishers. If only, right? Needless to say, the process has dragged out a bit long for us, but in hindsight – as someone very wise said to me rather recently – “you’ll know when its ready and is the right time.”

It’s ready. I’ve never been more sure of that. By the time it’s published, it will be the right time. Durantime!

There is something very satisfying in hearing Amanda say “Ok, it’s done!” after seeing her click “send” on our query emails and attachments. In a lot of ways it feels like we’ve already met our goal because we’re sending these proposals out. Finally!! (Amanda would not agree with me on that, but I’m thrilled just the same.) On the same token, I’m hopeful that we find a publisher willing to take a chance on us.

I believe the process might be easier if I had more letters by my name. I do not have a master’s degree or higher, which for the type of book we wrote, might have been helpful. It’s not your fandom-tell-all, and it’s absolutely not a love note to the band, either. We tried to make the book personable and funny (because if you’ve ever been with Amanda and I on a touring road trip…well…that’s funny!), but also as a sort of ethnography about fandom as a culture.  Publishers seem to like those extra letters when you’re trying to sound smart, I guess!  At the very heart of who I am though, music and fandom is my true passion. I care more about music and fandom as a type of culture than anything I’ve ever studied or spent time learning or researching, and it just so happens that Duran Duran is at the core of those things for me. I would rather talk about music or art than anything else. I’m thankful I have friends online that indulge me from time to time!

Amanda’s education, however, lies in women’s studies and exceptional education, and she does have her masters. Believe it or not, those degrees (or lack thereof in my case) make a difference to a publisher. One doesn’t send in their entire manuscript with a proposal, so decisions are based upon a couple of sample chapters, an annotated table of contents (think outline), resumes (goodness I haven’t earned a real salary since I was 26 and I’m now 45!) along with a survey of the proposed market, it’s conditions, and whatever else the publisher wants.

On one hand, I’m excited. I want people to see the finished product. I don’t think I’ve ever put my heart and soul into anything like this project. I suppose that for me, even if it were to never find a publisher, I know it is my best work and I’m proud – but make no mistake, I want it published and I’m not stopping until it is. We owe ourselves and the manuscript at least that much. On the other hand, I’m also scared to death. I only have a tiny sense of what it is like to produce work that is consumed by someone other than myself (because of this blog), and once it’s out there – it no longer belongs to you, which is quite frankly a bizarre sort of feeling. But, I’m not at that point yet, and there are no guarantees. I’m just glad we’ve finally gotten the more tedious parts of the proposal writing process over so that we can send them out.

Once the book has been accepted by a publisher, I am going to write a cleansing blog post about how cathartic the entire project has been for me personally. Every single day I changed as a woman, a person, and a fan. I’m still seeing those changes in the way I react to situations, people I’ve met both online and in person, and things the band has done. I wouldn’t trade a day of any of it, and I am so lucky that I had the opportunity to write with Amanda…even if I will sometimes argue to the death over a single word in a sentence. (sorry Amanda)

Believe it or not, we are also going to start working on sending proposals to publishers (this time, we’re actually doing this the right way and sending proposals FIRST) for another book! Also about Duran Duran, but in a different vein. Can’t say more than that right now because we’re only just beginning that process, but I’m excited about starting and having to do hours and hours of research in the form of watching videos, listening to music, reading books and magazines and going to concerts!

So, that’s the snapshot “where we are today” of book news. I know it’s been a long, LONG, progress. I hear that there’s talk of beginning a Daily Daily Duranie blog where discussion of why the fandom book is taking so damn long can happen!  I would just like to say as our defense that Amanda and I learned from the experts – the band (!!) – on how Durantime works. We blame Nick, John, Simon and Roger because apparently Durantime is contagious. Who knew?!?



Winter Marches On…

I hate this time of the year.  I always hate this time of the year.  The holidays are over and the next vacation feels eons away.  I find myself searching for something to look forward to.  Anything.  It doesn’t really matter what as long as it is something that breaks me out of the daily grind.  This week, it has dawned on me that this feeling of blah is worse this year than most.  Why is that?  I got away from home for Christmas in which I got to spend time with my family.  I had a vacation from work.  The weather hasn’t been awful.  So, what is my problem?  Duran Duran.

Well, Duran Duran isn’t the exactly the problem.  It is the fact that I got super spoiled this past fall.  Really, for Duranies, our holiday season started in the summer as songs were released, media coverage flowed freely, and countdowns for an album and concerts ensued.  Then, summer turned to fall and more and more of our days were filled with Duran Duran.  The album dropped and suddenly most of us couldn’t remember life before Paper Gods.  Most of us, officially, blocked out Durantime!  Soon enough, the fall US tour arrived and I spent a lot of time either getting ready or recovering from the shows I attended.  Before I could completely recover, Duran Duran began the UK tour and again my online world was filled with watching for set lists, seeing posts and tweets from my UK friends about the shows, checking out videos on YouTube and more.  Truly, the second half of 2015 was overwhelmingly filled with Duran Duran.  There was so much Duran Duran that I struggled to keep up and I write a daily blog!  I have to keep up!!!

Then, the UK tour ended, Duran posts and tweets quieted down, which was okay.  I needed time to prepare for the holidays.  My shopping list was long and my packing list felt even longer.  Once I arrived at my sister’s, there was little, if any, real time online.  I checked in, solely to make sure that everything was cool, nothing more.  I wasn’t social with friends because I wanted to focus my attention on my family, some of whom I don’t see very often.  I figured that the members of Duran Duran were doing the exact same thing.  Now, though, I am missing the Duran activity of the fall.  I know that there is plenty of activity to come with more shows in the US in the spring and summer.  I even know that eventually tickets for the Chicago show will go sale.

Do not get me wrong.  I’m not criticizing at all.  I hope that the band is relaxing and enjoying their break.  They deserve it.  They worked hard to get the message out about an album that they clearly spent a ton of time and effort on.  No, what I’m really saying here is that I miss the action.  I miss them filling up my days.  It is silly, really.  I have plenty to do.  I have many papers and tests to grade.   That said, I prefer Duran Duran over all of that!!  I would rather be focused on the band and their fans than on grading and lesson planning.  This reminds me.  Each year, I like to come up with a new super power that I should get (you know…for fun, people!  I’m well-aware that I have none!).  This year, I want to be able to bank things like sleep, fun and Duran Duran.  For example, if I get more than 8 hours of sleep, those extra hours should be banked to be able to use when…say…I’m on tour and I am not getting so much sleep.  I want the same thing for Duran Duran activity.  I’m sure that I missed much during the fall.  If I had banked Duran Duran activity, then, now I could read something or watch something that I didn’t get to then.  Wouldn’t that be cool!?!  Maybe, then, winter would not feel like it is going to be marching on like it does right now…


I Gave Up Asking Days Away

See any interesting tweets or status updates lately?  Anything related to Duran Duran?  I have!!!  (This is a miracle, too, since I’m knee deep in material for my evaluation at work!  By the way, if you know occupations that require more work, extra work than your usual job, in order to be evaluated on that job, could you let me know?  I’m keeping a list! Right now, all I have is teaching.)  Enough of that!  Let’s return to the fun stuff, those tweets and status updates about Duran Duran!  Here’s what has caught my attention and why!!

Gibraltar Music Festival

Duran Duran is playing/co-headlining at the Gibraltar Music Festival on September 5th!  Tickets, I believe, went on sale yesterday!  To read the full scoop and where to get tickets, head on over to the band’s official website!  It seems to me that Duran Duran has a number of festivals booked this year.  Want to see a complete list?!  Of course you do!

June 20th:  Sonar Festival in Barcelona, Spain
June 27th:  Night at the Park in The Hague, Netherlands
June 28th:  Killarney Festival in Kerry, Ireland
September 5th:  Gibraltar Music Festival in Gibraltar
September 11th at the Bestival Festival in Robin Hill Park in Isle of Wright, UK

Now, will I be able to attend any of those?  Unfortunately, I do not plan to attend any of those.  Yet, I’m still excited about them!  Why?  Simple!  I’m thrilled for those who will get to attend those!  It also gives me a little bit of hope that an announcement of something that I could go to might just be around the corner!  Heck, just this morning I caught a tweet or two about a possible festival appearance in Las Vegas…

Life is Beautiful Festival:  Las Vegas–September 25-27???

According to this blog, Duran Duran is set to headline the festival along with Stevie Wonder!  Now, of course, this hasn’t been announced by any official source.  Therefore, it is always possible that this isn’t true but I suppose it could be.  That could be exciting!

Of course, there is more than just the announcement of Gibraltar and the rumor of Vegas to increase my hope for a show for me!  Can you guess the other reasons I’m hoping for more announcements of shows soon?  I bet you can.  First of all, as Rhonda mentioned in this blog here, Simon stated in a recent Kafe that there is something BIG planned for the U.S. and I doubt that it is this festival in Vegas.  Thus, I cannot wait to find out what that is!!!    Second, we know that there is usually a lot of activity surrounding a new single and album and those appear to be coming in the summer/fall.  Finally, yesterday, Duran Duran tweeted about an auction, which you can see here.  While auctions of this nature for a meet and greet for charity aren’t unusual, what caught many Duranies’ attention was this line:  “UK tour dates will be announced within 2 months of auction end.”  When does the auction end?  In 3 days.  That means that UK dates should be announced by July 19th.  Will there be other dates for other places by that time, too??!?

Could the “B” be…

In this case, the tweets that caught my attention wasn’t by Duran Duran or a member of Duran Duran but tweets from friends about this interview here with Brandon Flowers.  During this interview, he is asked about appearing on Duran Duran’s album.  He denies it but “squirms”, according to the author of the article.  Fascinating considering that in a recent Kafe, Roger mentioned that there was another surprise on the album and that his name started with a B.  Brandon Flowers certainly does start with a B.  As someone who loves Brandon’s music, I would be super excited if there was some truth to this rumor.  Sadly, though, I’m doubting it based on this article on NME in which it is revealed that he has been working on New Order’s album, which I still am excited about.  It isn’t Duran Duran but it is something!

How to Deal

Here’s the thing.  I see many Duranies out there frustrated, annoyed, sick of Durantime and how long Duran has taken with this album.  I can’t blame any of them for feeling this way.  I’m more saddened by the people, the Duranies, I used to speak with frequently over social networking who seem to have just vanished since it has been quiet on the Duran front.  To me, when people stop caring and walk away is way worse than those who complain/vent/express frustration.  Durantime isn’t easy.  No one wants Durantime. No FAN wants Durantime.  So, I figure right now I have a choice.  I could either complain or I could try to find a way to push through.  I’m trying for the second choice.  I’m opting for focusing on what cool things could be coming up.  The assumption I have is that the album will be fabulous and that I’ll do my part to make sure that everyone I can reach out to knows that!

That said, let’s go, Duran Duran.  We are ready.


Duran Duran Email Blast Reactions

Did any/all of you read this month’s Duran Duran Email “Blast”?  If so, you probably read this paragraph:

“In addition to the festival shows, the band will also be participating in an LA based fundraiser for the David Lynch Foundation on April 1, performing one of their greatest and most Lynch-ian songs, as a tribute to David and his work. The event will celebrate the Foundation’s 10th anniversary of bringing transcendental meditation to heal traumatic stress and raise performance levels amongst at-risk populations around the world. There are still a few VIP tickets left, which include a pre-show event with David Lynch, cocktails, hors-d’oeuvres and a Shepard Fairey designed poster. Lend your support to a great cause here.”

As soon as I read that, I had many, many thoughts run through my head.

Greatest and most-Lynch-ian Song:

What do they mean by “greatest”?  Greatest in what sense?  Quality song?  Well-known?  Most commercial success?  Please, please tell me now.  If I think “greatest”, normally, I would go with one of their standards that everyone knows like “Rio” or “Girls on Film”.  Yet, they also included the phrase, “most Lynch-ian”.  Now, what does that mean?  We all know that David Lynch is artistic, unique, even strange.  What is your guess, fellow Duranies?  My request might be for something like The Man Who Stole a Leopard.  It fits, in my opinion.  It is a “great” song and definitely a bit “Lynch-ian”.  Dreams are free.

One Song:

Really?!?  They are traveling all the way to Los Angeles to play ONE song?  I get wanting to support a friend and a good cause but that still seems like a long way to go.  Now, of course, there are going to be people reading that will remind me that I, too, am traveling for one song.  I beg to differ, people.  I’m on vacation then and I’m going to visit my best friend.  I’m looking forward to seeing the one song but I’m looking forward to meeting new people and seeing some old friends there just as much.  Besides, remember that I flew to the UK to see no shows in 2011, too.  This is nothing, in comparison.  Nonetheless, if the band wants to announce something else within that area during that week, I’m open.  I would be happy to support.  In fact, if the band were to have something else going on that I could attend, I would appreciate any and all announcements like now or yesterday.  I have a plane ticket to buy and it would be good to know exactly what dates I should be there.


Today, as usual, when listening to music, I had my mp3 player on shuffle.  All of a sudden, a live version of “Girls on Film” came on.  For a long time, songs that are often played live got skipped by me as I didn’t want to be truly sick of them.  I didn’t want to kill the liking of the song.  Anyway, I was folding laundry so I continued to listen to “Girls on Film”.  Soon, I stopped doing what I was doing.  Memories of Duran concerts came flooding back to me.  I realized just how much I miss them.  I miss seeing them live.  There is a part of me that really worries that seeing them perform just ONE song will cause more harm than good.  Will it make me want to see a full show MORE than I do right now?  Will it just feel like a big, fat, horrible, torturous tease?


This blast brought a lot of thoughts and reactions on my part.  I wasn’t alone, though.  I saw friends discussing what song might be played.  I also found myself exchanging a lot of emails with Rhonda about this blast but also about the latest Simon Katy Kafe and the album news of a September release date.  While the floodgates haven’t burst open yet with non-stop Duran news to discuss, there has been some Duran information to talk about.  There is nothing that feels more normal to me than exchanging countless emails with Rhonda during the day about Duran news, speculation, etc.  Maybe, just maybe, those conversations will keep us going until the ONE song at the Lynch event and after.  Key word there is “Maybe”.



Durantime: Kitchen Mixers Are Forever

In the past three or four years, I’ve written a lot about how Durantime feels, and how fandom wanes. I’ve commented on how much life can change in a year or four, that sometimes, the momentum seems to flow away from the band. I’ve counted on other people, other fans, to keep my excitement at a reasonable level. September 2014 hit, and my attention was abruptly turned. Something as simple as a “layoff”,  or “reduction-in-force”, changed my outlook on nearly everything, including Durantime. This isn’t the first layoff we’ve weathered as a family. Unfortunately, as great as technology is, it’s not always so great for the people who make technology their career. Product lines end, tech-companies reorganize a lot, and technical marketing people like my husband get shuffled around quite a bit. This is the fifth layoff we’ve been through in the twenty-three years I’ve known my husband, and this one has the dubious distinction of being the longest he’s ever been out of work. Jobs are definitely out there, but there are probably four or five times the amount of people needing work, no matter what the government tells you about job seekers. Take it from someone who is on the front lines as an observer, there are a TON of people out of work. It isn’t easy, and it is financially devastating to families, regardless of your budget or what other people may think. No one really knows what goes on in a family unless they’re IN that family. Never mind that my oldest is in the middle (literally right smack in the middle) of having to go audition for college dance programs….there is a lot of upheaval going on at Casa Rivera at present, never mind Durantime

The past several months of Durantime have become something far more involved than just waiting for the band to get their act together and drop new music or announce a tour. I’ve thought a lot about what I’ve gotten out of this fandom, and what more I really want to do. I’ve considered where I am with this blog and if I want to continue writing. I’ve also really thought about my husband and my kids and what is best for them. For a while, I put myself first in a lot of ways. If I had extra money, I had no trouble slapping down money to go to a show.  My husband always had this weird comment whenever I’d ask if it was OK for me to travel to _______________ and go see the band play. He’d say “If that’s how you want to spend our money, that’s fine.” I never thought twice because it was exactly how I wanted to spend our money! I didn’t think about the vacations I could have taken with my own family or the fact that maybe Walt would have wanted to do something else. I figured he’d let me know when he wanted to go away….and so I went! Things change.

I’ve traveled to the UK. I’ve done ridiculous things and traveled insane distances just to see the band. Some might say my priorities were out of whack. I’d say that I was doing a little escaping and that it harmed no one. I have done many things over the years where Durantime didn’t matter. I’ve hosted a couple of conventions. I have hosted a few pre-show meet ups. I’ve co-created a blog that went from zero readers to more than 12,000 hits per month at its peak. It has been really, really fun. More fun than I probably deserve. I’ve also thought about the things I’ve never done. I haven’t really spoken to the band before outside of an album signing. I’ve never interviewed any of the founding members. I have zero photos with any of them: founding member, ex-member, or Dom! I’ve never been backstage for a meet and greet, and I definitely have not gone to any after parties. Somehow though, I’ve come to the conclusion that if it really all ended and I never am able to get to another show, which at this point is a very real possibility unless things change drastically, I am very happy with what I’ve done. I have some sense that things have run its course. I could always do more. Can’t we all?  But if I don’t, I’m OK. I don’t regret not having “physical evidence”, because my memory is intact. Durantime hasn’t made me forget the rush of seeing them on stage. I have not forgotten what it was like to see that yes, John Taylor really did actually mouth “keep singing” to Amanda and I so many years ago. I haven’t forgotten seeing Simon roll his eyes at Heather (my daughter) when she dared to do the devil sign at him during Tempted. Of course I remember seeing Dom play guitar in front of me and how lucky I felt to be standing there. I still recall the email from Dom telling me that he’d be happy to do a Q & A with Daily Duranie. Those memories don’t just dissolve, and no photo will ever be able to capture how I feel about those moments. I’m happy with what I’ve done. I could always do more, but if I didn’t – I’ve not a single regret.

For the past few years at Christmas, my mom has given me a little money. Her intention was always that I buy myself something, but typically I’d put the money into my drawer, knowing that I’d save it to see the band or for travel expenses. This past year, I saved it thinking I might need it if things really got bad here with Walt’s job hunt, but I also thought that I’d use it for my concert fund as usual.

Instead, I bought myself a mixer for my kitchen.

That’s right. I, Rhonda Rivera – hater of all things domestic, bought myself a stand mixer. You know, one of those expensive Kitchenaid mixers with all of the attachments? I don’t know what happened. I don’t know why. I just know that after one late night infomercial where I saw the mixer in action – especially with the ice cream maker – I had to have one. I read about them online. I read the reviews. I researched the different models and options. I also saw the insane price tag. I found an excellent deal on Amazon that cut the cost down to something I could afford. I knew I had the money for it, but did I want to part with my possible Duran fund??  I struggled with Duranguilt during Durantime…but after much soul-searching, I gleefully bought my new toy last night. It’s the first tangible, expensive thing I’ve bought myself that had nothing to do with Duran Duran in many years.

I don’t know what this means exactly, other than what Amanda and I have been saying about fans drifting away is really true, and I am proof of that. I also know that because I spent my Duran fund – it’s only a matter of time before a show is announced. (you all can thank me later) When I was a kid, I could focus solely (or almost solely) on Duran Duran. I didn’t mind waiting four years in between albums. Durantime didn’t matter, I didn’t mind waiting. It never occurred to me that there would be a time when I might not be able to see a show. Things are different now. I have a daughter graduating from high school and two more kids at home. My husband is job hunting and yes, we’re really worried about what our future may bring. I’m thinking about whether or not to go back to work, and if so, what am I going to do? If I had extra money right now, I can honestly say I wouldn’t spend it on Duran Duran. I don’t even KNOW when I would have ever said that before and in a lot of ways I’m really saddened that I feel that way. Damn it I’ve grown up, against all of my attempts not to do so. I can’t stop life from happening while Durantime carries on around me. Kitchen mixers are forever.


Today in Duran history – A Diamond in the Mind

On today’s date in 2012…A Diamond in the Mind (CD & DVD) was released!

If you were one of the wonderful attendees to Durandemonium last October, you had the good fortune to see Diamond in the Mind on the big screen during our private viewing party!  I knew the show would be great on a theater-sized screen, but it exceeded even *my* expectations….either that or we were all so show-starved that we couldn’t help ourselves from getting up and dancing in the aisles!

Makes you kind of wish for another show….