Did you know that on this date in 2009, Simon blogged that the band had left Sony records?
In 2009, I was still very active on duranduranfans.com…and once in a while, we’d have a visitor on the message boards named Moocher. I remember Moocher well. Why? Moocher liked “actively debating” with me.
It was no secret on that board that I was no fan of Red Carpet Massacre. I was positive that the band would leave Sony, or Sony would leave the band. I didn’t know how or when, only that it was inevitable. From my point of view, it felt to me as though the band was poorly mismatched with the producer of choice for Red Carpet Massacre (and as I write this I remember Moocher giving me grief for always calling the album RCM as opposed to writing it out), and given the sales of that album as well as Astronaut – it seemed likely that one way or another, the band would part ways with Sony.
The day before Simon blogged about the parting with Sony, an interesting post showed up on ddf written by none other than Moocher. That poster and I had words more than once on the board, our disagreements always remained respectful, but we were both passionate about our feelings. On this particular day, Moocher said that news was about to hit that the band left Sony – and my comments about the band, their attitudes (in fact Moocher quoted me several times) and what I felt lay in their future, were called on the carpet. I know that I had upset Moocher by saying that RCM wasn’t up to par over the prior months – our discussions had generally centered themselves around that topic. Moocher went on to describe the great love s/he had for Red Carpet Massacre, and that no label could ever take that from them. Grinning broadly as I read Moochers smack down, I agreed, and I still do. For example, there are times when I complete a post for this blog, but I know it’s not my best work. That doesn’t stop me from loving my work – but I know in the back of my mind that I can still do better. I can’t imagine it’s much different with the band and their music. That said, I’ve never been shy about my opinion, even back in 2009. I loved the band, enough to be honest about what I saw, heard and felt. Moocher loved the band just as much if not more, and I respected that.
So that day, I chuckled when I saw Moochers post. I knew much of the post was directed solely at me, and that I deserved some of that ire. The next day, when Simon’s blog appeared at dd.com, it was strikingly similar to what had been written on ddf by Moocher. Coincidence?? We will never know….
This story brings me to a similar point I want to make about this blog. I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I was taking a bit of a hiatus from the rigors of writing lengthy blogs each day. The truth is, I was very burned out. I was becoming increasingly negative about everything from the band themselves to the fans…emphasis on the fans.
I’m not sure if other fans really understand what it’s like to write a blog. I know that when we started this insanity, I had no idea what I was really in for. One day, I just started writing without a lot of thought as to whom might be reading. In hindsight, I think our “blog” really started back when I was still posting on ddf. I think the very first “post” was likely my review of the fan show in NYC 2007. (It was not a good review) The only difference between that first post and now is the web address, really.
The way the blog is supposed to work (for me), is that I sit down and begin writing without a lot of thought into how the community-at-large will react. For a long time, that worked. I would write and either no one would comment, or the only people that did comment were those who agreed. About the time that the blog started getting notice from other fans, the first dissenting opinions showed up. They came as a surprise, in moments I wouldn’t have expected, but I never minded having a discussion. Sometimes I learned things, and sometimes I changed my mind about things I’d written. Those comments broadened my view. In a lot of ways, I was thankful for those discussions, because they made me see that people were reading and reacting, which was fantastic.
Naturally, things didn’t always stay so friendly. Some people took my opinion extremely personally…and maybe that was needed. Maybe some didn’t like the mirror I was holding. I don’t know for sure, but it’s impossible for me not to notice the reactions: I’ve been kicked out of private online communities of “friends”, I’ve been blocked from people who I thought mattered (to me), I’ve made business decisions for the greater good that ended up ruining friendships, I’ve had complete strangers call me everything from “bitch” (probably accurate and I don’t apologize) to “cunt” (totally uncalled for), and I’ve been called a “sad loser” more times than I can count. (Whatever. I was in band all through school. You think I haven’t heard that one before? Get some creativity.) Oh yes, there’s also my very favorite…”Durantard” (that one earns a slow clap for brilliance.)
On the opposite end of the spectrum, I’ve been friended solely because someone has thought I knew the band and could get them into shows or backstage (If only!!), I’ve made many, many other friends because they started reading the blog; found me on Twitter and became more than just a screen name, I’ve had drinks bought for me many times (those are ALWAYS appreciated, I promise), and I’ve learned so, so much. I have learned to have much respect for the band’s management, friends of band members (you know who you are), and other journalists who were once bloggers like me. That doesn’t mean that I always agree with decisions that are made or methods with which things are done. I just have deep respect for the fact that they have a much different view on that side than I might here, and I definitely do not know it all.
I never meant for this blog to become a career, so it’s a good thing that it isn’t! It was really meant to just be fun. I wasn’t thinking ahead when I started writing posts for the blog. Clearly not! It’s name alone should have made me take a pause and think of the implications. One of the kindest compliments I’ve ever gotten about the blog was simply that they could tell I write from a very authentic place. I do. Right or wrong, on any given day when you read this – they are my real feelings. This blog is a reflection of what I really think. If you want to really know me, this is a very good place to begin. While I’m quieter and a lot more shy in person, this blog (my posts, anyway) is still me. I guess I’m just brave enough to put it out there and allow it all to be picked over. Funny, I never thought of it being brave until I realized that so many others are even afraid to sign their names to a silly comment. (again, that earns a slow clap)
The real trouble with putting yourself out there though, is that over time, it begins to feel as though you’re on a slow simmer over an open fire. I started worrying about what to say here that wouldn’t cause a riot on Facebook. I started worrying about what other people were saying about me, and most importantly – I started wondering about whether I was really still a fan of Duran Duran. Then I remembered what one of the people I admire most in this world – the fandom world – said to me. She said to me, “Rhonda, it’s clear that you and Amanda have fun with the blog, and that’s part of it’s charm. When it stops being fun, then it’s time to go.” You see, she knows of what I’m writing because she’s been there herself. It is unbelievable how you can have plenty of people “following” you, and yet feel so incredibly alone as though you’re on a quickly shrinking iceberg in the middle of a boiling pot of water. I didn’t want to give up the blog completely, but I needed a break. So I took one. If the band can be on hiatus, then damn it, so can I. So I am. Or I was. I’m not really sure.
There is genuinely no winning this game until you can stop feeling – and if I stop feeling, then I can’t very well still be a fan, and if I can’t be a fan, what in the hell am I doing here? That’s the question I ask myself as I write. Daily.
What I’ve derived as the conclusion for now is that I’m going to keep writing my opinions here. I am probably not always going to like what Duran Duran says or does. I’m probably not going to make any of you very happy with me. I’m going to poke fun, be demanding and impatient, be snarky, laugh at myself, love on the band, and then turn around and gush over Dom Brown because darn it – that’s what I want to do. I don’t care that the rest of you don’t think he’s a member. It’s MY blog. It’s Amanda’s blog. If you don’t like it, then stop reading.
Daily Duranie is not going to be a reflection of what anybody else thinks, says or does in this community except ourselves, and we really don’t care if the rest of you don’t like it. We ARE anxious for the next album. We DO want them to hurry. We DON’T like it when John Taylor says they don’t need to tour. We’re FANS. Of course we want all of those things!! When the day comes that I sit back and blog here that I don’t care if the band ever tours again or that I’m happy to sit back and wait a few years for the next album, one of you had better come take my pulse, because I may have died. It’s not out of greed I say those things, it’s out of love for them. I’m a big fan and I want to see them again! I am exactly who I say I am.
The comments are still going to be open, and if you’ve got something to say that can be written respectively and thoughtfully for discussion, we’ll be happy to respond. Otherwise it’s probably going to get tossed out with the garbage. I’ve never said that before, but I am now. Amanda and I don’t need to put up with the nonsense, and we’re just not. This blog is ours. I’m going back to having fun now!