Tag Archives: fandom

Hands out, hearts open, hand up

Last night, I went to go see the Quarteto Nuevo at Cal State Fullerton. This is a chamber jazz (!!) group, and they play everything from traditional chamber music, to traditional jazz and even a lot of world music. I loved it. There was a soprano saxophone player, an acoustic guitarist, a percussionist that played a Peruvian drum along with several other percussion instruments, and a cellist. The sax player is actually on staff at Cal State Fullerton, and the best part was that they collaborated with a dance group from Fullerton – and my oldest was one of the dancers. I’ve seen Heather dance thousands of times, but I have to say that last night’s performance was one of my favorite pieces. The name of the piece was called “Women’s Dance”, and the whole idea was about how women support one another.

When I thought about writing this post, I was going to focus on the ideas of improvisation and trust. But, that whole “women supporting women” thing seems far more timely!

I’ve written this blog for seven years and five months now. Yes, I’m counting. Amanda and I have seen the blog go from being unnoticed, to getting a lot of praise, to people openly hating it (and us), and now we’re at a point where we have a lot of readers, many of whom remain silent. Make no mistake, I accept full responsibility for the road the blog has taken. These things didn’t happen “to” me, they happened as a result of what I’ve written or the expectations that people have had of our writing. I’m not apologizing, and I’m not disappointed.

What I am though, is fascinated.

You all have to know that this fandom is weird. It’s bizarre enough to attract a few people to write about it. We’re unique because for the most part, this has always been a female-dominated fandom. Most of us have been fans since childhood. Plenty of us, myself included, can count one (or more) of the band members as our first crushes. The emotionality that goes along with those pubescent dreams tends to fuel a devotion that spans decades. That loyalty is not only crushing to outsiders, but on occasion, it pulverizes other fans that happen to be in the way. We women can be very territorial, and we’re punishing to those we believe to be trespassing.

My argument is simple: there are only five band members. Only the elite few have even the remotest chance of being accepted into that precious inner circle (this is not to be confused with having a shot at a one-nighter). Rather than giving a hand up to our fellow fan, many see this as competition, and push one another down. I see the comment “If I can’t have him, no one can” quite often. Truth be told, pretty much none of us can have any of them. We’re just hurting ourselves in the process of figuring that out. Instead of seeing fandom as an opportunity to find friendship, many times we’re looking for ways we can shove each other out of the way. That might have been fine when we were thirteen and not very wise, but now? What are we really doing to ourselves?

We’re judging. We’re openly promoting ourselves on social media. We’re flaunting our feathers, hoping for attention from males who, quite honestly – have no interest in most of us. Funny how amongst many in the animal world – it is the males doing the flaunting. Maybe, just maybe…we’ve been doing it all wrong.  The band is married to, or are dating models and people who have already figured out how to carve a unique path for themselves in this world. I’m not saying we have no chance at that, but let’s get serious…most of us don’t. Yet we judge. We mock. We take any opportunity possible to make sure that the few who might be sticking their neck out a smidge farther to be seen know that they don’t really matter. Instead of supporting one another and giving a hand up, we’re pushing one another down. When will we learn our lesson?

During a time when the #MeToo movement seems to be plowing full steam ahead, I find that our fan community is nearly the antithesis.

Last night, I watched Heather dance with her group. They twirled in circles, hand out, heart open in celebration of one another. I’d never seen anything quite like it, in many aspects. They grasped other dancers, lifting them joyously with one step, and then being lifted themselves in the next. It is a piece that will stay in my thoughts for a long time.

Once upon a time, Amanda and I had a link page on this site. We wanted to create a sense of community, and yeah – we felt like we bloggers and website owners needed to stick together. Over time, sites went down, blogs closed, and the links were stale or broken. Rather than work to fix it, I took the entire thing down. I think it’s time I work to get it back working.  Daily Duranie is a place of inclusion, and to not have a link page says something far different. If you’ve got a website and want to participate in a link exchange, let me know.

-R

I don’t own Duran Duran. Do you?

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve seen some weird reactions since Monday, the day that most of us discovered that Simon was going to become a grandpa in June.

I’ve seen everything from joyful congratulations to downright lamenting age, and trust me – I’m right there with all of you. I’m sure to some degree, Simon might be too. After all, it is HIS daughter having the baby! My goodness, as thrilled as I might be to become a grandma (NOT ANY TIME SOON!), I think I’d still take a hard look at myself in the mirror. I think that’s probably normal for anyone.

While I think we might all be incredulous over how quickly time has passed, I’ve also noticed something different that I can’t quite put my finger on. In addition to the posts, tweets and comments of congratulations and joy, there’s been this weird sense of almost a sort of….ownership…familiarity? I’m not even sure those are the right words, but it is something I’ve noticed before.

Most fans have been so since their very early teens. Sure, there are some that have joined the family more recently, and I’m not discounting them – but a lot of us have been around for decades. I have to wonder if that hasn’t given us a false sense of familiarity.

I mean, it isn’t as though we know Saffron personally (for the most part). It is wonderful to send congratulations, but can you imagine what it must be like to be a member of that family and have people you have never even met telling you that if they had their preference, the baby would be a healthy girl? Or boy? It must be overwhelming, whether or not you and I think that Saffron, as Simon’s daughter, must be used to it by now.  I guess part of me wonders why should she HAVE to be?

By the same token, we fans are pretty damn overwhelming to the band, too. Can you imagine having some self-proclaimed blogger write about you every day? Complaining about how long you’re taking to write and record an album, then…just as the album is released, she criticizes it? Who in the hell does she think she is? Good question.

Yes, I think about these things a little differently now than I did a few years ago.

I can’t really find fault with people wanting to express their good wishes. Hell, I did the same thing. I posted a note and even wrote a blog. But after I published, as I washed my face and climbed into bed after a long day, I started thinking about how overwhelming it must be at times.

A few weeks back I was chatting back and forth with a friend of mine who also happens to play bass in a Duran Duran tribute band. We were talking about my absence at a lot of their gigs these days. I explained that I got tired of getting that feeling of entitlement from some of the other fans at their shows, and the attitude of “ownership” that went with it.  Here’s a band, a TRIBUTE band at that – and they still have fans who believe that because they’ve gone to every gig or most gigs, that they have somehow proven that they’re more worthy than others. My feeling is that I just want to listen to their music. I don’t need the rest of the crap that I feel at shows from the REAL band. Forget that nonsense.

The knowing looks, the narrowing eyes when one describes meeting the band or being in a situation that someone else hasn’t, the one-upping through Facebook posts, Instagram pictures and all of that. Gah! I just want to go to the show, enjoy the music, and not worry about the rest. I don’t want to have to “prove” why I am  worthy to be there, or why I am deserving of whatever experience I’m enjoying at the time. It drives me crazy. Sometimes, this community seems to be more about proving yourself than it is about just enjoying the band.

I admit it, sometimes, it is difficult to remember that my only “duty” as a fan is to enjoy the music. I am still learning how to approach it all.  As a blogger, it is easy to fall into the trap of critiquing more than enjoying. I know this because I’ve been in that pit before.  I much prefer writing in a way that celebrates (In some way) everything they’ve done rather than finding fault. It’s a slippery slope because, let’s face it, that isn’t the way I’ve always written. I’m not going to apologize or make excuses except to say the blog has been a journey. I’m learning, like it or not.

It is easy to feel like I am a big part of the history of this band because I’ve been walking with them since 1980-something. I feel like I know them, even though I really don’t. Many of us feel that way. I’m sure they are used to people like me, stepping on their every word. Even so,  I’m calling myself out here as much as anyone else. I don’t own Duran Duran. I might be a hard-core fan in desperate need of a new hobby, but that doesn’t mean they know me, or should abide by anything I write.

Hard truths for a Thursday.

-R

 

The Range of Fandom Responses

Recently, when I have taken time to glance through social media, I have been seeing a lot of posts from friends talking about going to see the Killers live.  On one hand, those posts (pictures, videos, comments) make me smile.  After all, I get how fandom fills one’s heart and brings nothing but happiness.  On the other hand, it makes me a little sad since I couldn’t go see them myself this tour.  They played in Chicago and Minneapolis during semester finals week.  Those cities are the ones I can easily get to.  Unfortunately, that is the one week that I absolutely cannot be gone.  I have to give the finals and, more importantly, I have to grade them.  Work had to come first.

As I type that, though, I have to acknowledge that it would have been a different story if it was Duran.  I would have done what I need to do to get there.  Thinking back, I have bent over backwards to get to Duran functions even when the wise decision would have been not to go.  The most obvious example was the John Taylor book talk and signing that took place in Chicago in October 2012.  Life was a little…lot….super crazy then.  I could not afford to take a day off because Election Day was around the corner and I needed to be gone for that.  I had also taken time off earlier in the month to attend a President Obama rally (and to meet him that day).  My students needed me to be there.  So I did what must be done.  I drove to Chicago, attended the function, and drove right back home.  This, of course, led to more exhaustion and eventually falling ill a week or so later.

As much as I love the Killers and other bands, I won’t bend over backwards in the same way that I do for Duran.  It is as simple as that.  This reminds me of another time when I asked friends who would be into seeing Depeche Mode with me.  At that time, I had a friend say to me, “I love Depeche like you love Duran.  They are my band.”  Okay.  Cool.  I can always appreciate fandom.  Plus, I figured this meant that she was totally in for Depeche.  Funny enough, though, when it came to the actual purchase of tickets, she folded.  She wasn’t willing to part with the $150 or whatever the ticket cost was. If it was Duran, I wouldn’t have hesitated with that $150 ticket price.  Does that mean that the original statement about Depeche being her Duran was wrong?  I don’t know.  I cannot really compare someone else’s fandom to mine.  After all, some might say that I have taken this fandom thing way too far.  This blog might be one example.   Who else keeps up a daily blog for 7 years other than the two of us?  Who else is planning another convention?

Fandom is really a personal thing.  What one person is willing to do might be very different than what someone else is willing or able to do.  For me, I am willing to sacrifice a lot if it means going to something Duran.  While I love other bands, I’m going to be pretty limited in what I would want to do.  Some people, on the other hand, might be really strict at all times even with the band they love the most.  Still others might be open to doing a lot for a lot of bands they love.  This range of responses is part of what fascinates me about fandom.  I know that fandom is about having a passion for something or someone.  How that translates in real life actions depends on the person.

-A

Shake up the pitcher*, the lizard mixture: Planning for Durandemonium 2018

*Yes, I spelled the word incorrectly. ON PURPOSE. See what I did there?

It has been a couple of weeks since I gave any sort of an update on convention planning.

First of all, we are still moving forward with plans! If you haven’t already marked August 9-12 as Durandemonium 2018 on your calendar, you should! We have been emailing with our contact at the Hard Rock Cafe (shout out to Jason!), thus begins the number crunching portion of convention planning….stay tuned!

What I am looking for currently, however, are any ideas that past DD convention goers, planners, etc, might like to see and do in August.

Yes, we all know we’d like the band there. Maybe they should just do a Vegas show over the weekend of Durandemonium 2018. Problem solved! 😀

Note to all Duranies and anyone else out there: pretty sure there’s not a Vegas show anywhere on their 2018 calendar…but I just figured I’d throw it out there to anyone who may be reading. Can’t get anything if you don’t ASK. For that matter, I’d take any one or more of them, including the touring band – Dom, Anna, Erin, Simon W. or even their road team or someone who has worked with the band – to appear for an hour, take some questions, and do photos/sign stuff. (If I’m gonna ask, I’m going to go BIG.)

Oh and yes, we’re willing to pay. We’re not kidding. Email us. dailyduranie@gmail.com 

In all seriousness, what activities sound like fun for Durandemonium 2018? We’ve brainstormed about a vendor area for sales/trading, games and trivia, a video party similar to what we do online each year for DD Appreciation Day, perhaps even a guest panel. Is there anyone you’d like to see/hear from? Do you have a burning desire to plan a specific activity? Talk to us!  A Vegas show you’re dying to see? A specific video/interview/etc you want to see? Let us know!  As exclusive as this invite-only event will be, we want it to be fun.

I’m also thinking about theme. We have a general idea that may or may not involve costumes. Who says DD fans can’t/don’t do cosplay?!? If you have any light bulb moments you want to share, we are open to ideas!

I don’t have specific information regarding ticket costs yet. Amanda and I just got some information from Hard Rock Cafe that we need to go through, and some figuring to do. We want to treat our guests to a weekend they’ll be still be talking about through the next tour, but that information is coming soon.

 

Amanda and I chose not to assemble a volunteer committee as early on this time because much of the decision-making comes down to the two of us. However, there will come a time when we are reaching out to those who are willing to be an integral part of the weekend.  That said, we are very open to hearing ideas, so fill our inbox!

Hoping to be posting concrete information very soon….

-R

 

Seven years of burning the ground, and we reached our resource limit!

Crazy things happen. For example, last Thursday afternoon, someone let us know that our blog was displaying a strange screen instead of our website. I checked it out, and sure enough, our website was nowhere to be found. Instead, viewers were told that we’d reached a 508 resource limit.

(I sound like I actually know what I’m writing about. Amusing.)

Here’s the deal: I’m no webmaster. I try my best, but in actuality, I am  learning as I go. Seven and a half years ago, I was scared to death when Daily Duranie went “live”. I had no idea what I was doing.  A bit later, and I do the unthinkable. I decide we can self-host, and I have the audacity to think I can actually keep it all working. I move the blog to our own shared server space, and it works fantastically. Until of course, it doesn’t.

The thing is, starting out, MOST websites work unless you’re using a theme or plugins that don’t. However, when you’ve got seven years under you, there’s a lot of stuff. Things need cleaned. They need maintenance. It is like owning a seven-year old vehicle. Sometimes, things need fixing. I am not a mechanic.

So my Thursday night was spent getting close and personal with the back, back-end of the site. The first thing I had to look up was what a 508 resource limit meant! Then I looked at stuff on our back-end that, to be honest, I’d never looked at before. One thing I learned was that our server has its own site metrics, and its own stats. Both files are frighteningly more accurate than what we’ve got through WordPress.

I learned that we have, quite honestly, ten times as many unique page views as I’d ever thought, on SLOW days. During times when Amanda and I are actually on the road together, our traffic here is almost alarming. At first, I sat staring at the screen saying, “That’s just not possible. It just can’t be.”

Amanda and I had a good laugh, admitted our naivety, and surmised that this is exactly the kind of thing that would happen to the two of us. It explains a lot of things, though…including the problem at hand.

The 508 resource limit, which I didn’t know how to fix. I read some articles, and I watched a few YouTube videos.  (You can learn ANYTHING on YouTube!) It came down to a couple of basic things: 1. This site needed to be optimized. 2. I needed to clean out the crap. I did both, but once a site reaches your resource max – that means that you’ve used up all of the resources your server has allocated to you for that given period. I had to wait for the site to renew our allocations. Thankfully, that meant waiting until the following day. It worked. But that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t happen again.

I’ve done all that I can do at this point to ensure we never hit a resource limit again, primarily because I’m out of time, out of knowledge, and out of money. In order to ensure we never run out of allocated resources, we’d have to upgrade our hosting. As I said, we get quite a bit of traffic, and on a busy day –  if the site isn’t running at its optimum, we could easily run into resource limit problems again. As it is currently, the site costs us a fair amount of money each year to host. Upgrading isn’t cheap.  So how to make the site pay for itself?  Good question. Our ads never quite paid off for us, so I took them down. They looked like crap, and no one clicked on them anyway. That said, Amanda and I cannot afford to put more of our money into the site at this point.

You may or may not have noticed a new addition to the home page. If you look near the top right corner, just under our menu – there’s a “Donate” button. It’s not very big. It doesn’t have bright neon lights shouting it’s presence. But it is there, quietly asking for your support.

Amanda and I love Daily Duranie. I think it’s fair to say we loved it before anyone besides the two of us read a single word. We wrote for the love of the band, and we wrote for the love of being fans. We still do. That said, it costs real money to keep the site running. It costs real money to put on a convention, to do meet-ups, and to have fun. We are asking for your help – whether that is a few dollars, or a bit more if you are able and so inclined. If you know Amanda and I, you realize how difficult this is for us. We’re not very good at asking. I read a book about that once, and here I am. I need to ask for your help. I worry about doing this because I hate being vulnerable. It’s uncomfortable, and we wouldn’t do it if we really didn’t need your support. We’re not asking anyone to pay us a salary, or to fund the next tour.  We just want to keep the site running. Anything extra would be used for future conventions and meet ups, should we be so lucky to be offered that much help.

If you click on the link, it will take you to PayPal, where you can type in a monetary amount of your choosing to donate to “Discord & Rhyme”. That’s actually Amanda and I, so don’t worry! We’re trying to change that back to Daily Duranie, but for now – it’s Discord & Rhyme.

This isn’t going to be like your local PBS station continually asking for donations. The button is going to stay for a while, but this is the one and only blog I’m going to be writing about it. Should we want to try something different for fun, and we might as time goes on here, we may write about it, but other than that – it’s back to business as usual here with NO resource limit on the fun stuff! Love, friendship, music, party times, and Duran Duran.

Thank you in advance for helping to keep this site up and running. We really appreciate the love, kindness and support.

-R

Bleeding from Paper Cuts

I have been waiting to use that lyric ever since I first heard it. To me, it is the perfect line to describe my job.  Teaching has gotten a lot harder in the last ten years or so.  The job did not instantly get tough but has slowly been getting more and more difficult.  To me, each subtle change or each little new expectation did not seem like a big deal at the time.  They were paper cuts.  Now, many teachers are full of paper cuts, to follow the metaphor.  The last couple of weeks have definitely felt like receiving a series of paper cuts that are so bad that I’m left bleeding and stinging.  Funny part is that on just one day last week, I literally got six paper cuts.  It seemed fitting.

Looking at my job as well as other activities in my life, I have come to a conclusion.  I seek intensity.  I live and breathe intensity.  When it comes to teaching, I can be laser focused on what I need to do for the job.  The last couple of weeks have included very little beyond writing finals, grading them along with any other assignments that have been turned in, and getting ready for the new semester.  The amount of time I have spent on huge is huge.  I literally have graded every single day in the last three weeks.  While the job is set up to do this, I also recognize that I take on the intensity differently than many of my colleagues.  Others are able to turn off the work and the thinking but I struggle with that.  It is probably one of the reasons that I believe I’m a good teacher but it makes the rest of life tough.  On one hand, I desperately want something a little less stressful.  On the other, this feels normal to me.  Part of me, I think, likes it.  The reason I think this is because I do the same things in other areas of my life.

As many of you know, besides teaching, I also volunteer my time with political campaigns.  What is the best part about campaigning?  The end is the best part.  I love the Get Out the Vote weekend.  For those not in the know, it is the last four days of the campaign when we hit the ground hard and at full speed with maximum volunteers.  Those weekends are marked by very little sleep and working 14-16 hour days.  Most people would run from this but I love it especially when I am on the winning team.  That feeling of elation is like nothing else I have experienced.  Political marches create the same level of intensity and emotionality.  The only thing better is touring.

I love lots and lots of parts of fandom and this Duran Duran fandom of mine but there is nothing better than touring.  Like teaching, I suspect that Rhonda and I tour more intensely than some.  After all, we can and do often party pretty hard.  I won’t lie.  There have been times in which we have had more drinks than we have hours of sleep.  Even now, over a decade into touring, we are still typically the last people standing.  Our roommates always seem to get to sleep before we do.  Even when we leading the activities at Durandemonium, our 2013 convention, we still went out after everyone else was back at the hotel after dancing the night away at Late Bar, Chicago’s New Wave dance club.  The lack of sleep combined with the partying and non-stop activity is pretty intense.  Heck, on  the very first tour Rhonda and I were awake for over 36 hours and did not consume any food for almost 24 hours.  It was a sign of how this touring thing would go for us.

When I stop and analyze my life, I have to admit that I like intensity because I like how everything else fades into the background.  When I’m on tour, I just think about touring, Duran Duran, my friends, my fandom.  While politics or teaching may enter for a few minutes here or there, my mind doesn’t stay on them.  Unfortunately, though, touring is not as common as I wish it was.  Instead, really, teaching is the bulk of my day-to-day existence.  Unlike touring, I wish I wasn’t as intensely focused on it as I am.  I try to keep up with politics during the school year and I definitely try to stay in contact with some elements of my fandom but they are often fleetly and short-lived until the news is about a tour or something equally exciting.  Then, I can carve out time for plotting!  The one thing I do in my life that gives me a good break is this.  Blogging.

When we started this blog, I thought this would help us in a variety of ways.  I thought maybe we would meet new people.  I figured that we would gain some insight into our fan community, that we would learn a lot about our fandom.  There was hope that we would become better writers.  All of that has happened.  What I didn’t expect was what blogging would do for me personally.  It gives me a real break from the insane world of being a high school teacher or political activist.  Truly, it allows me to keep the fun side of me alive even when the rest is attempting to swallow that part of me.  Heck, even when I am not blogging myself, taking the time to read Rhonda’s blog or people’s comments is necessary for me to remain sane.  Am I alone in this or does this blog give people a little break from the stress of their day-to-day existence?  I know that I’m thankful for it and hope others are as well.

-A

Are we still a Networker Nation?

In yesterday’s blog post, I mentioned the power of social media. Although I don’t have Sirius XM radio, within moments of the interview John Taylor did with Richard Blade on Monday, I knew what had been discussed. I felt triumphant.

Say whatever you like about the evils of Twitter and Facebook. They can definitely be a cesspool of humanity. I agree that Twitter can seem like an echo chamber. I don’t believe that Twitter changes anyone’s mind, and I don’t think it is necessarily the best place to chat about politics. In all honesty, I stay off of it as much as possible anymore because it isn’t enjoyable. The population of people that once posted has changed.  I think even the very function of Twitter has changed since its inception.

However, if I need information quickly, Twitter is my failsafe. I can put a question out there, and get an accurate answer in an incredibly  impressive amount of time. Twitter is reactive, sometimes explosively so. Facebook seems to be more of a warm, fuzzy place…most of the time. It is where I connect with extended family, and it is where I have learned things about family members that I really didn’t ever need to know. It is also where I get good and bad news from childhood friends, and find out that my former high school crushes have gained several chins and collected wives along the way in the same spirit as I have Duran Duran ticket stubs. Even so, I don’t tend to loiter on social media as I once did.

I do miss sitting around and tweeting with friends. It was like a giant chat room, and no, we didn’t always agree. That didn’t matter, though. It was about the gathering, the communication, even the immediacy and yes, even the friendship. Something happened though, and for all of the good that could be found, Twitter turned angry. It isn’t very enjoyable much of the time. I don’t see many fans on Twitter these days, at least not that are there for the pure enjoyment of being a fan. I suppose we take our cues from the band to some extent, who themselves seem to have left social media – at least as recognizable people using their own names (Not that I know otherwise. I’m just saying that if they wanted to participate under a blanket of anonymity, they probably could.)  I can’t really lay blame in any one direction. Even so, when I need information, it does have its place.

I don’t think we can ignore the fact that within moments of news breaking, whether that is a devastating earthquake, or a tour being announced, it is being discussed on Twitter. The same holds true for Facebook, although the reaction time is longer. Social media has its place, but where do we go to really enjoy being fans without the trappings that “real” life on social media has to offer? Is it that we’re all just too busy now? It wasn’t that many years ago when the message board and/or forum of DDM was a bustling place. Post counts jumped by the dozens within seconds. Does anyone still talk about the band anywhere?

Oddly, we have a message board that is largely ignored, and I need to shoulder at least half of that responsibility. I find that I spend very little time “online” these days. It isn’t because I have that much less time, it is because the last thing I want to see or do is talk politics, or read about more horrors taking place within my country. I don’t need five hundred friends sharing the same comments, memes, and complaints. I’m sick of it.  Rest assured, I feel the same as many of you, although likely not with the same intensity as some. I’m just tired of talking about it all, or reading about it. So, I stay offline as much as possible. I can’t imagine I’m alone. I check out Instagram, I smile at pictures. I love cats and dogs. I need the good things more than I need to read the bad things five hundred times.

So while there is certainly power within social media, and our fingers flying across the keys does far more to “spread the word” than it used to, I have to wonder where the fun has really gone. Is it time to fire up the message boards again? Sometimes, I wonder. I miss our online fun.

-R

Feel the New Day: What’s your theme song?

Every once in a while, Duran Duran puts out a question on social media that makes me think. This morning, as I was quickly scanning through Twitter, I saw a tweet from them asking about personal theme songs.

That tweet made me stop and think a little. My knee jerk reaction was to go with a favorite song, but those favorites aren’t necessarily theme songs—they’re just songs I like. For example, my very favorite DD song is still “Is there Something I Should Know”, but I don’t think I’ve ever felt like that song SPOKE for me in that way, exactly. I just fell in love with it from the first listen and it’s stuck with me. By the same token, I’ve had a few songs become sentimental favorites along the way because they came out at particular points in my life, and perfectly described how I was feeling or what I was going through in those moments. “Finest Hour”, and “Red Carpet Massacre” are two songs that come immediately to mind.

When “Finest Hour” came out on Astronaut, I immediately took the song to heart because it was describing exactly how I felt at the time in my private life. I was also rediscovering who I really was as a Duran fan, and to some extent, I was learning about myself as well. The song really kind of epitomized that moment for me.

“Red Carpet Massacre”, the title song from the album of the same name, was released in probably my darkest time. I’ve written about my feelings about the album and even what I was going through personally, but the more I listened to this song, the more I felt that it described the nature of this fan community at times. The album came out during a time when I was just really starting to see the cutthroat nature of fans, and so at the time, the song really did become a sort of theme!

In the years since, I’ve had moments where various songs have become my sort of personal theme. “Late Bar”, “Secret October”, and even “Rio” have all taken their turn as my theme of the moment or day.  Right now though, I feel as though “Sunrise” describes it best for me. I’m looking for that new day to come. I have the sense that life is about to take a turn for my family, and I’m waiting to see how that’s going to play out. I’m trying to see it all as positive rather than dwell on the negative part, because hopefully that will be short-lived (Which is that my husband is currently sitting in my son’s room, which he’s converted into his temporary office space, looking for a new job).

So, what’s your theme song?

-R

I came by invitation to general Chelsea mayhem

A fandom is populated by many different types of personalities. Some people are quiet and reserved, some are very outgoing with strong personalities, and still others are there solely for the object of interest itself.

As one might imagine, the same holds true for Duran Duran. Not everyone is here to interact with other fans. Some are here solely for the band. Some just want the music and don’t care about the band itself, other fans, or any of that. Others are curious about other fans but they’re not the type to jump in with both feet. Still others really want to create connections with other fans.

Durandemonium 2018 is going to be a fantastic, VIP-style, non-stop party. If you decide to accept our invitation and attend, you should know that you’re going to be in exceptional company with people who love Duran Duran, but also value friendships they’ve made (or will make) in this community. Those relationships and memories will more than withstand the career of the band, by the way.

The people who attend Durandemonium won’t be there to chase down the band as they go from black Escalade to elevator.  They aren’t expecting the band to play (however awesome that might seem!).  They will be there to celebrate being a fan and sharing that sort of kinship with other fans of Duran Duran. Our guests will arrive knowing that we are celebrating forty years of fandom, and the best way to do that is with one another. There will be singing and dancing, merriment and debauchery, but it will be our guests making it all happen. It will be those memories, from an exclusive weekend with like-minded friends, that carry them to the next tour and beyond.

There is nothing wrong with fans who plan their vacations around Duran Duran’s tours. Been there, done that myself more than once and my car has the mileage to prove it! I applaud the people who are so driven to shake Nick’s hand or get the best picture of Simon or Roger that they’ll wait all weekend for them. I love the avid concert goers that will drive all over the country just to catch the band in concert one more time. These are people after my own heart.

However, there are a ton of opportunities that already exist for fans like that. They’re called tours.  This party is for the cool people.

Everyone can be a fan, but not everyone can attend Durandemonium.

-R

 

 

Durandemonium is coming. Again.

So what is this I hear about a Durandemonium convention in August? Whose crazy idea was THAT?!?

I hate to say it, but I think I might be the guilty party.

Imagine the scene: we’re at the Daily Duranie “Late Bar” party in Vegas, everyone is having fun and a few people have asked when we’re going to do a convention. I look around and realize that yeah, we probably could have a pretty rocking convention right here in Hard Rock Live. It’s a very versatile, exclusive yet open, space for meeting, partying, dancing, etc. Could we pull it off?

I mention it to Amanda, who I think may have threatened me with bodily harm. I can’t really remember now, come to think of it! I do know she did ask me several times if I meant it, and I played it off. It’s one thing to suggest it in jest, another to say it and mean it. I needed to think.

I drive home from Vegas, go through the New Year, and really start considering whether or not the idea is even worth discussing further. A few people ask about it, which does nothing to quell the idea. Amanda and I talk about it on Friday night, and we agree to throw it out to the community by way of a poll.

A poll isn’t very scientific, and the results are only as good as the sample size. Even so, a poll generates discussion, and the reaction might tell me whether or not it’s worth looking into. Amanda and I chuckle as we post the poll on Facebook and Twitter. We assume we’ll get less than 50 people to even answer.

Wrong.

We had fifty people respond by late Friday evening, and most were positive. This was a surprise, particularly since we made sure to indicate that ticket prices were likely to be over $200 a person for a Thursday evening through Sunday noon convention.

Nope, conventions are not cheap. They’re absolutely not free. I know that we do our meet-ups for free – and we really shouldn’t, because even those require some menial things that Amanda and I have just agreed to pay for over the years and not mention it, but a convention is very different.

It is a finely tuned balance. The risk is enormous, because we have to choose a city that Amanda and I can easily get to, as well as somewhere that fans WANT to visit. When we are planning, we have to consider how many tickets need to be sold in order to break even.  One way we encourage people to join us, is by having conventions in places that people already want to go.

That typically means sticking to larger cities, and those big cities cost money. No matter what city is chosen, we read posts from people who want to come but insist that the convention be closer to them, like in their own hometown. No matter where we choose, there is always going to be a city that is cheaper, a time of year that is better, a place we haven’t visited, etc. We do our best, and so far, we haven’t had a convention in the same city twice.

With all of that taken into consideration, is it any wonder why so few conventions happen in this fandom?

We soldier on because the one truth that Amanda and I hold most dear is that being a die-hard fan of Duran Duran is about far more than just the band. There is certainly room for those who care little about making friends and are just around to see Simon, John, Nick & Roger – and there’s something to be said for those people. They buy the same tickets and support the band in the same way we might. However, the friendships made along the way have made my  journey far sweeter.  Amanda and I believe that so fervently that we want to help facilitate more of those opportunities for fans to meet and befriend one another outside of a concert setting. In turn, those friendships are what create and maintain the community. It isn’t what Amanda and I post here on the blog that does that.  Not even  the events we plan create community. The friendships and bonds between people are what do that. Sometimes though, these conventions and meet-ups help to bring people together, and that is why we plan them.

Those who have been to other conventions and even meet-ups like the one in Vegas with us know this to be true. Somewhere along the way, it really does become the friendships that matter most. I met my best friend at a fan convention. I know other people met their closest Duranie friends at our last Durandemonium convention.  I saw a group of people who had mainly interacted online become better friends in Las Vegas, bonding over the band, karaoke and late night pizza. It wasn’t due to Amanda or myself that those things happened, but it sure gave me joy to witness it. That’s why we keep going. I love seeing people come together over the love of a band. The music is between us, and it bonds us. That’s worth celebrating. With this year marking the 40th anniversary of the very beginnings of Duran Duran, I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be than with people who love this band as much as I do.

That thought is what will keep me going until August.

Durandemonium is coming.

-R