Tag Archives: Eden Project

August Katy Kafe with Nick!

Duran Duran Appreciation Day was a little extra special this year.  Not only did fans show how much love there is for the band all over social media, but DDHQ posted a new Katy Kafe.  This one featured Nick!  His presence in the Kafe was VERY welcomed by many as the concern for him has been growing since his departure from the tour in early July.  I have heard many fans ask questions anxiously of anyone and everyone who might know something, anything about what is going on with him.  This questioning, generally, has been done out of love and concern as it is hard for people to sit back and be patient when worried.  Others have attempted to reassure by stating that no news is good news and that Nick is where he needs to be.  The real reassurance came this week, though, when fans could actually hear Nick’s voice for themselves in the latest Kafe.  Hearing his voice put a smile on my face, too!  Soon enough, I was itching to capture the highlights here on the blog.  Of course, if you want to hear it all (and I know you DO!!!) and without my commentary, then make sure you are a member of DuranDuranMusic.com.

Update on Nick’s absence:

Nick reminded everyone that he had to leave the tour to return to England to deal with a family matter and that this was the first time that he had to miss dates.  He is a little concerned that if he doesn’t return soon that Simon will take over the lead for the most times on stage with Duran Duran.  He described it as “relinquishing his crown,” which I thought was super cute!  Then, he apologized for not being at the shows but thrilled that MNDR could stand in for him.  He misses everyone but isn’t sure when he will return.  He felt strongly that the show was in a good place with the lights, the production, the setlist, etc. so he really didn’t want to cancel dates.  (As someone who attended shows, I’m couldn’t be more pleased that they didn’t cancel!)

Bloom Twins:

Nick is writing and producing their album with them and has been over the last 9 months.  The plan is for him to finish when they resume working in September.  He has been enjoying working with them because they are young and open.  Clearly, the implication is that they aren’t jaded about the business like others who are older or more experienced might be.  This is the first band Nick has worked with like this since the Dandy Warhols.   Speaking of projects that he has been working on, he and John hope that the writing for the musical is done this year as well.  (So do I!!)  Interestingly enough, Nick says that the Bloom Twins work really quickly, the opposite of Duran Duran.

MTV Anniversary:

August 1st marked MTV’s 35th anniversary.  Nick talked about how awesome the channel was when it first started.  The channel was started by “young, vibrant, passionate” people who really had a pulse on what was happening.  Whenever Duran showed up, MTV just went with whatever idea Duran came with.  For example, Duran brought Andy Warhol with them one day and that was cool with MTV.  Later, though, the channel shifted to be less flexible and even later became “game show” like.  (Like with so many other things in my life, I find myself wishing that I could have been there to witness those experiences Nick talked about with MTV in person.)  Nick and Katy discussed the possibility of MTV rebooting to once again show videos.  Both didn’t think that was going to work despite Nick’s obvious sadness over the loss of what MTV was.  (I feel his pain as I’m sure most of the people reading this do, too.)

BBC Music Day:

Duran participated in this by playing a show from the Eden Project, which is an attraction focused on plants from different environments, that was then broadcasted for people in the UK to see.  (It is on YouTube now, if you want to watch it for yourself.)  Nick hasn’t seen the broadcast and isn’t very good about watching his own shows.  He does like that the band was able to participate in something new, though.

Appreciation:

Nick sent his appreciation to everyone who has come to see the band on the Paper Gods tour, to all the fans who have been with them “forever” and to all the new fans.  He describes it as “quite a journey.”

2017 Dates??:

When discussing possible dates for 2017, the Far East, Australia and South America were all places mentioned that they need to get to since they haven’t been there yet during this tour.  I’m sure that would make MANY fans very happy!!!

Overall, we didn’t get much in terms of scoops or new information about what is going on behind the scenes.  That said, I, for one, was very glad to hear Nick’s voice and to know that he isn’t giving up his day job anytime soon!  That is something we can all appreciate!

-A

We’ve Traveled So Far: The Eden Project

It has been a while since I was really able to blog with abandon.  🙂

About ten days ago (feels like months now, which should give some indication as to my state of being at the moment), I decided to take a couple of hours and try to listen to the BBC 2 broadcast at the Eden Project. I really didn’t think I’d be able to hear it since I’m in the US, but I figured I wouldn’t know unless I tried. Imagine my surprise when it worked!  Before I knew it, they were announcing Duran Duran taking the stage in Cornwall.

Rest assured, the show was fantastic. Two things really struck me that afternoon, though that made the experience so worth my time.  As if I had to force myself to listen, right?  The thing is, I really did that day. I still had major writing to do, and our self-imposed deadline was still looming (IS still looming, I might add).  Even so, taking the time from writing might have been bad enough, but if I was going to do that, I probably could have spent the time catching up on cleaning or laundry, or 50,000 other things. I didn’t. I sat down, and for the first time in I-can’t-quite-remember-when, I listened.

Since I was not there in the audience and was sitting at home with nothing to distract me, I was able to pay so much closer attention to the smallest audible detail. I could hear notes and loops that I don’t think I’ve ever really noticed before, which really changed the entire show for me.  Like any other fan out there, I’ve listened to their albums more times than I can count. I know every word in the same way that I’m sure those of you reading this do.  But when was the last time I really listened?  Amanda and I haven’t done a review in a while (we will, I promise!), but even then – I am never really just sitting. I’m always taking notes or listening while reading something else – anything to multitask.  And then, there are the times when I’m just listening for fun. I am not sure I can say I’m always paying rapt attention. My mind wanders, or something grabs my attention and the next thing I know the song (or album) is over. I heard it, but I may not necessarily have really listened 100%. So that afternoon was different for me in that respect. I had nothing in front of me, nothing to do, other than listen to the music, and I found myself hearing things I would never notice while in the front several rows of a venue.  No distractions, no one to focus my attention on, and the experience was wild as a result.

As I listened and marveled over the sound quality—it was so crisp I couldn’t believe it—I also considered fandom.  That shouldn’t be a surprise. For the last two and a half months, my days have been nearly entirely spent on considering fandom. MY fandom. What has really changed since I first became a fan in the 1980s?  Well, plenty….and I’m not just meaning my age. 😉  I’m not giving away anything I’ve written about when I say that at least for me, the single biggest thing that has changed fandom for me has been the internet. Prior to the days of the reunion, basically, being a fan was something that really felt sort of isolating. Singular.  It was something I did alone. Yes, when I was younger (and I mean much younger—like middle school), I had friends that loved the band as much as I did. We’d sit on the grass (the “quad”) at school during our breaks and lunch and we’d talk about Duran Duran. We’d bring our latest issues of Bop! or Teen Beat—whatever cover they happened to land on that month—and we’d read the articles. We took them all so seriously, too…but I digress. The point being that after those middle school years, as we moved on through high school, that happened less and less. By the time I got to college, I definitely wasn’t talking about Duran Duran with anyone. My sorority sisters, particularly the few I shared a room with on campus, didn’t even know I was a huge fan.   That didn’t change after I got married or had Heather, and at that time, I was living in Illinois and knew no one.  When Medazzaland came out, there was no one to talk about that album with. When the band showed up on the Rosie O’Donnell show to promote—I happened to catch that episode by pure luck. I was excited to see them (as I fed my then-newborn), but there was no one to marvel over their looks with, or talk about the songs (of which I knew very little).  The internet changed that for me.

By the time the reunion was announced, I was dipping my toes into the message boards. I didn’t post, but I definitely lurked and read. And when I found a message board where I felt comfortable, I began posting.  Little by little, what was once something that seemed isolating— being a Duran Duran fan—was something that united me with other people. The internet has allowed me to participate and share fandom with people all over the world.  And, that’s what I did that Friday. While I was listening from California, I was able to see (on Twitter) that others were listening from parts of the UK, the east coast of the US, and even South America. And yet, our individual locations really didn’t matter, because we were all together. It made no difference where we were from, what our primary language might be, our ages….none of it mattered. We were all people, all gathering in love, sharing our joy for a British band.

I dare say that on that particular day, it didn’t matter that the set list seemed to be pretty much the same as I’d heard before, and that I was nowhere near the front of the stage and couldn’t even see the band. I experienced a show like I never had before in many ways, and it was just as thrilling (as being there) in a completely different way.

On days like yesterday, and even today as we absorb the aftermath of a horrific event, I like to think about how much smaller the world really seems, and how lucky I am to have friends from all over the world. Fandom doesn’t have to be an isolating thing, anymore.  At any given moment, whether in pain, joy, sadness or elation, I can go online—likely to Twitter in my case—and share those feelings.  Someone from half a world away is likely to answer, and the one thing I likely have in common with that person is a little band from Birmingham.  We’re all incredibly different, but also the same.

Say what you will about Duran Duran. Pigeonhole them for being a teenybopper band (although I’d personally like to point out that I stopped being a teenager about 25 years ago now), and never mind all the critical claim that may be their just due after all this time.  This crazy band brought us together and like the Energizer bunny – just keeps going and going.  If that isn’t worth acclaim and respect, I just don’t know what is.

-R