Tag Archives: Fab Five

Do you remember Decade? Released on this date in 1989!

On this date in 1989, Decade was released. I remember that album, except I had it on cassette. I say “had” because that cassette tape met a very untimely (and sad) death on the 15 freeway in California, going towards Las Vegas.

When Decade was released, I wasn’t sure I really wanted it. In my opinion, I already had all of the songs, so why bother?  It was just a compilation of their greatest hits, right? At this point, I was a sophomore in college, and spending money on something like this was an “extra”. I decided to just buy the cassette, since CD’s were a lot more expensive at the time. I kept it in my car, and whenever I wanted to listen to Duran Duran, I’d play it. I remember preferring to only hear the front side, since the backside seemed to favor the period post-Roger and Andy. I couldn’t have that!

Fast forward to mid-November 1993. My then-boyfriend and I were headed to Vegas with his coworkers. We’d taken separate cars and were stuck in traffic on the I-15. His friends didn’t think to bring music, since radio would run out early into the trip. Walt decided it was a good idea to hand my precious cassette to them through the car windows. I protested. Loudly. He ignored me, and as he attempted to pass it, his friend John let it slip through his fingers. I turned around to watch it bounce on the pavement just as a semi-truck ran it over. It was a very long drive to Vegas, and no, there were no offers to replace the cassette.

That, in a nutshell, is why Walt is not allowed to touch my music.

I eventually did get Decade on vinyl, and it is an ongoing joke that I don’t find the least bit funny. My poor cassette.

So, never try to pass music in between cars. Although these days, who carries cassettes around?!?

-R

Live From London, 2005. Do you remember?

On this date in 2005, the concert film, Live from London, was released.  This was filmed during the series of the five sold out shows at Wembley Arena in April of 2004.

I remember a couple of very basic things about this DVD.  First of all, I haven’t watched the video in a very long time. After Diamond in the Mind was released, I suspect I just sat this one aside.  Second, the deluxe version came with 3D glasses. While a bit blasé at this point, I thought it was super cool at the time. Don’t ask me what songs could be viewed with the glasses, which only serves to reiterate my first point.

The manga video for “Ordinary World” was also included, and I also remember that with the deluxe version I have, there were quite a bit of extras, such as interviews. I love having those, maybe even a bit more than the concert itself.

More than just about anything else, I remember what it was like to be a fan at this point in 2005. I’d already seen the band in Chicago earlier that year, as well as gone to Vegas to see them perform in Andre Agassi’s Grand Slam for Children at the MGM Grand. I was still a neophyte when it came to the fan community, though. I had a very small group of friends, and was incredibly naive about the way things work. To me, the song “Everything is Awesome”, while not a favorite, is pretty appropriate to describe my feeling in 2005. The weekend I spent in Las Vegas for the Agassi show served as the beginning of my eyes really being opened to typical Duranie behavior, but even that was minuscule to what I would witness in coming years, both good and bad.

When I think back on the Live from London DVD, I can’t really say I’d be willing to go back. I see a lot of Duranies proclaiming 2005 to be a great time to be a Duranie, and it was. I had a lot of fun, and I appreciate the memory of everything feeling bright, fresh, and new. I couldn’t be standing where I am right now without those experiences. At the same time, I appreciate the present. While fandom is different now, I have seen too much to go back. I think that’s where I might be different from a lot of fans—I like seeing the fan community from this angle. Sure, there are a lot of cracks. It’s not all shiny or pristine, but that’s OK. I’ll describe it this way: diamonds are beautiful. When they are cut precisely and have zero flaws, they are sparkly and reflect the light perfectly. They are also incredibly boring to study under a microscope when they’re like that – which is almost never, I might add. There’s nothing much to see. A diamond with imperfections is still stunningly beautiful – but under a microscope they are far more interesting to look at, study, and learn from.

I’m going to go look for my Live from London DVD. It’s time for a refresher!

-R

Limited Edition Double Vinyl of Astronaut released, 2004.

How many different versions of Astronaut do you own? I can’t even answer that myself – a lot of them are packed away, but I know I must have a few. I’ve got a couple of copies of the regular CD that I bought at midnight at Virgin Records in Hollywood.  I also remember buying this special CD – it was a dual sided CD if I remember right (did those ever really catch on??)—and it had 7.1 surround sound. I can’t remember what was on the other side, though. Was it a DVD?? I really need to go find it and look.  Anyway, I liked that CD because I could actually hear Andy’s guitar (which is another blog for another day), and because it was unlike anything I’d seen before.

But on this date back in 2004, Duran Duran released the limited edition double vinyl of Astronaut. I have a copy, and it is signed by all five members.  I’m particularly proud of it because it’s the one thing I have signed by the original five members of Duran Duran, and for a long time – it was the only thing I had signed, period. I can remember periodically sitting and staring at that vinyl from time to time. It was one of those moments where afterwards, you wonder if it really did happen. I can tell you that back when I was just a kid listening to Rio, never did it occur to me that one day I’d actually meet them. That just seemed like something out of a fairy tale, and admittedly it felt a little that way when it happened.

Seems like a great day to take out that double vinyl album and spend a little time thinking back on 2004. For me, Astronaut helped to mark the beginning of the community aspect of fandom.  I had just gone to my first convention, and everything felt bright and new.  Astronaut was a new beginning for Duran Duran, and I’m happy to spend a little time thinking back on that time today.

-R

Sets You on a Path: The Reunion

Today is easily one of my favorite dates to celebrate. On August 29th of the year 2000, Simon and Nick visited John at his house in Los Angeles.

What could they possibly have talked about?

Getting the band back together!! The reunion they said would never happen….

That’s right. It all began with a chat around the pool. (well, that’s how I picture it in my head, anyway) And if it weren’t for that day, and the reunion that followed, seventeen years ago now, none of this – the albums, the touring, the message boards, DDM, Astronaut, Red Carpet Massacre, All You Need is Now, Paper Gods…and this blog….probably would not have happened.

I just don’t know if I would have kept going to shows. Maybe I would have for a while, but life gets in the way. I know how I am with other bands. If it’s not “easy”, I don’t bother. Would that have become the way with Duran Duran? Probably. After all, I hadn’t gone to very many shows before the reunion, although it was one of their gigs at the House of Blues in Anaheim that really got me back into the band, and that was before the reunion was announced. Even so, I’m not sure that I would have been inspired to keep reading message boards or meet people had the reunion not been announced. I don’t know that I would have gotten involved with planning a convention, or that I’d have ever met Amanda as a result.

It’s wild to consider that just one conversation at someone’s house changed everything. But it did.  And while the reunion may have been one fleeting moment in my life, I’m grateful. And happier. I found a part of myself I’d been missing. That “something” wasn’t really Duran Duran. They were just the catalyst to get me looking for it, and I’m thankful. I really am.

This silly band. They don’t know me much beyond the words I write here and my face in their audience. Yet, in some odd way, I will always feel as though my life is weirdly entwined with their professional one. One day in August of 2000 set me on a path, and while yes I’m nearly quoting “What are the Chances”….it is incredibly fitting.

So while I head off to work today – I’ll be thinking about that band a little. It’s a good day.

-R

What’s Your Favorite Live Recording of a DD song?

DDHQ asked for our favorite live recording of a Duran Duran song this morning. At first, I stumbled over the words. It’s Monday, I’m already tired (not really a great sign for the week ahead) and I can’t seem to make much sense out of anything yet. Live songs? Do they record anything? Seriously – it’s been that sort of morning so far.

But then, as I went about my normal tasks of feeding the animals and complaining about dishes being left in the sink, I remembered a show!  Costa Mesa, 2003. The entire show was recorded and I ordered the CD.  The Encore Series was the name.

Granted, I am pretty sure I’ve seen better shows since then. Or maybe it’s just that my seats have improved significantly in the years since, I don’t know. The fact remains that when I think about all of the shows I’ve seen over the years – that one is a definite standout, and not because it positively ticks off all of the boxes on Amanda’s Concert Rubric. Simply put, it was the very first time I’d ever seen Duran Duran – all FIVE original members of Duran Duran – on the same stage.

I don’t even remember a lot from that show, to be honest. I got there, winced at how far back our seats were from the stage (I went with my husband and I think we were about 23 rows back and off to John’s side), and once the band took the stage, I stood there pinching myself to make sure that what I was seeing really wasn’t just my overactive imagination working overtime. I remember watching as someone decided to jump up onto the stage and nearly tackle Simon as he sidestepped and allowed Dave, the band’s security, to grab her. (I won’t give away her name, but I’m pretty sure I’m friends with this woman to this day. I nearly died the day I found out she was the culprit!) I also remember Roger stepping away from his drums at the end of their set, tongue wagging as though he’d run a marathon or two. But mostly, I just remember standing there thinking about how lucky I was to be there, and how thankful I was to still be a fan so that I could finally see them all together on stage.

I am one of those people who cannot stand it when we ask a “This or That” question here on the blog and people vote by saying “both!” It’s freaking annoying (to me).  I usually grit my teeth and say “make a choice, dammit!” Probably not the nicest thing to cross my mind, but I’m being honest here.  Now it’s my turn to choose. This show, which is definitely my favorite live recording of them, wasn’t about what they played or how long they were on stage or even about how many songs they played. It was that they were there in front of me. They showed up. They were together, and I had this feeling I was at the beginning of a wild, new ride. Even so, for the sake of participation, my favorite from that set has to be Virus.  No, not a song from their back catalog, not New Religion (which is a very close second), but Virus, because I loved it.  The song had the hard edge I was looking for, I could hear all five members working together, and to this day I’m giddy when it comes up on my phone.

Thanks to DDHQ for that question today – it gave me a chance to think about that fantastic show!

-R

 

 

Do you remember the website for Something You Should Know?

During the frenzy of 2005, something else was going on besides just Astronaut tour dates. Something You Should Know was coming our way.

A director saw a story that needed to be told, and had spent time going around the country interviewing fans for a documentary named Something You Should Know.  M. Douglas wanted to tell the story of Duranies, explain why we were fans, and what kinds of things we would do to express our fandom. Many of my friends were among those he had interviewed for this documentary, and they were excited to know that at some point in the future, their tales might have ended up on a big screen.

The timing could not have been more perfect for such a venture. After a long hibernation for many, the re-emergence of the Fab Five with the Astronaut album provided just the enticement to come out of the shadows.  It seemed like I was running into fans nearly everywhere I went, and it made the journey that much more exciting. Like many of you, I sat waiting for the announcement that he documentary would be released. On this date in 2005, the website for Something You Should Know was launched.

While the documentary itself did not turn out quite as I had imagined – the storyline seeming to sensationalize the “slightly bizarre” behavior of fans rather than tell more of an honest story, I can remember being very excited to hear that someone even thought there was a point to fandom at all.  The irony (for me), is that now having been rejected a few times for trying to tell the honest story of fandom – I can see why it was easier to sell the sensationalized stories. I could easily step up on my soapbox and lecture why this is so wrong, but I’ll refrain.

You’re welcome. Happy Valentines Day!

This is one of those times where, as I’m writing, I’m thinking about how this feels like this happened so long ago.  A LOT of life has gone on since the website for Something You Should Know was launched. Even so, I remember…do you?

-R

 

Do you remember DD playing Jacksonville in 2005?

I find myself struggling to think of something to blog about on this fine Monday morning in February. The sun is out, it will warm up to the mid-70s here at my house in the OC today….and I can’t think of a single thing to write. Even the dates in history are failing me today.

Turns out, DD hasn’t done a lot over the years on the 13th of February. They’ve played a few times, but the shows haven’t been monumental….or at least there’s nothing about them that I can really remember that needs blogging.

So, I’m going to wing it. First of all, the show in Jacksonville was towards the beginning of the Astronaut tour. If you’re like me, maybe you’re saying “Hey, wait a second – didn’t they play Japan?” The answer is, well…yes…they were supposed to, but no…they did not. There were six shows in Japan during the month of January that were cancelled. So the band went straight from their show at the Hammersmith Palais in London on January 13th to playing the show in Puerto Rico on February 8th. Then they did two shows in Ft. Lauderdale on the 10th and 11. (the one on the 10th was billed as a warm-up show), then a show in Tampa, and then the show in Jacksonville. From then on, it was a crazed ten, fairly solid months of touring. If you don’t believe me, you should check out the complete tour list on dd.com.  They did take breaks in their schedule – but only for a matter of weeks each time (for the most part).  Although, if I think back, it did seem like that entire year was all about touring. Every time I turned around new dates seemed to be announced, and friends were always planning their travel around the band.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – 2005 was a good time to be a Duranie. I didn’t even take full advantage of all of the touring, in fact I limited myself to only a couple of shows, while many others I know were gone for weeks, if not months, at a time.

Jacksonville was really only the beginning, but it was what they did on this date in 2005.  Do you remember?

-R

 

Do You Remember? VH1 “The Set”

On this date in history, wayyyyy back in 2004 (which really doesn’t seem like it should be twelve years ago already, does it?) Duran Duran filmed a show for VH1 called “Bailey’s The Set”.

As I fondly recall, this was a show that local fans could enter a lottery of sorts for tickets. The show was filmed at Sony Studios in Culver City in front of a very small audience, and now there is an unofficial DVD of sorts available of the performance – which was shown on VH1 a week or so later.

A great many of my friends here in the area attended the show, but I did not. I tried for tickets, but this was at the height of the Fab Five reuniting, and tickets were hard to come by. My ongoing streak of luck (or lack thereof!) held through the lottery.  I have heard it was a really fun show, particularly since during that period, Duran Duran had been doing a great many arena-sized performances.

I don’t have the show in its entirety, but I did find a clip of Careless Memories to share.  These are actually kind of fun to watch, it was back when Dom was just subbing for Andy, and Anna wasn’t there – this may have been before she began touring with Duran Duran. Instead, there is Tessa Niles on backing vocals, I believe.

As much as I have enjoyed the recent Duran Duran tours, there was something very special about Duran Duran back in 2004…it was fun to look back.

Here’s another: (this clip doesn’t say it’s from the same performance but I am pretty sure it is)

-R

Wristbands and Mother/Daughter Moments

It was twelve years ago today….or rather…last night…that I stood in a very long line with my oldest daughter, who was seven at the time. We were waiting to purchase our copies of Astronaut, and hoping to get wristbands for a meet and greet a few days later.

If I remember correctly, I had taken my daughter out of school early in order to drive up to Hollywood and wait in the line. I remember the entire process being a pain because Heather was on a competition dance team at the time, and it was all cutting into her dance classes. I had no fear of taking her out of school, but dance class? Oh my.

By the time we had gotten to Hollywood, the line was incredibly long.  We had several hours to wait because the album didn’t go on sale until midnight. I wasn’t sure we’d even get a copy, much less wristbands. As we stood in line talking with a new friend, trying to convince ourselves that we would not come away empty-handed, I silently reminded myself that it didn’t matter if I ever met the band, and that the important thing was that I was there with Heather, sharing a very important, yet pretty secret (at the time) part of myself with her.

Given her age at the time, I know she got bored and tired as we stood there, but she also learned a lot about her mom. I could see her widen her eyes with wonder as people would talk about their experiences seeing the band, and she would watch how I would react when people would talk about meeting band members. She listened carefully when I would reminisce over my memories from junior high school, or my first concert. I think she could see just how much the band meant to me—and that wasn’t something I’d ever really talked much about at home.

I’d just gotten home about a week or so earlier from my first convention in New Orleans. Duran Duran was a fairly new subject in our house—prior to the convention planning, I really didn’t bring them up often. I was a mom, busy with kids and activities. My outside interests didn’t really come up much. For my kids, and even Walt to a certain extent, the convention was the start of it all, and even then, they had no idea.

(some might say they still don’t!)

Every single year that passes, I take the time to remember that night, and naturally the one that followed later in the week.  It was the first time I’d ever driven up to Hollywood just to buy an album. I felt like such a bad parent for being bold enough to sign Heather out of school a little early (I’m a rules follower!), but something in me just clicked. I wanted her there with me.  I wanted to show her that being a fan, even as a mom, was still OK.

As the line finally started to snake in and out of the aisles of Virgin Records Megastore (unfortunately it too is gone now), Heather got excited. The store had the album playing, there were videos (I think it was Sunrise) playing on the monitors, and the atmosphere was as celebratory as possible. After all, this was the first album from the Fab Five in twenty-five years! With every step closer to the cash register, I could feel my excitement growing ten fold. I got to the point where I could hardly stand still, because I knew that I was going to get Astronaut on vinyl, and wristbands were going to be in the bag with it!

Heather and I came away victorious that night, but not just because of the music or the wristbands. It was the first time that I can remember where I felt like I could actually talk to her. That doesn’t mean we were best friends after that. She was seven and I was a parent, but something about that night gave her a little more insight into who I was as a person. Just in the same way that spending so much time with her training in dance has given me a lot of insight into who she has become as an adult. We’ve been close ever since, and she is still one of the first people I will talk to about my Duran Duran adventures. She reads the blog, follows us on Twitter and sees how others react.  I think it can be tough sometimes to parent and not have some regret over things that were said and done, or even things that weren’t said or done.  I have zero regrets for sharing that time with her.

It’s a good memory to reflect upon.

-R

 

Duran Duran History – Salt Lake City

Duran Duran history for March 12 – TEN YEARS AGO TODAY in 2005, Duran Duran played at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.  This show was part of what tour??  The Astronaut tour!

Ten years ago. Holy cow what have we all been doing since then?? Seems like we should be having reunions, don’t you think?!?

Happy Anniversary, Duranies. It’s been ten long years since many of us completely lost our minds at seeing all five on stage playing brand new music. Good times.

-R