Tag Archives: fandom activities

Out In the Stars

There’s one I want to meet

Every once in a while, I run across something I either haven’t seen before, or forgotten that I’ve already seen! Today while browsing Facebook, a link for a fan-made video for “Northern Lights” popped up. I have the vaguest recollection of hearing that this existed, so I clicked on the link.

The video is complete with titles, suggesting that it was produced by Duran Duran (not exactly), and takes scenes from 1977’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, mixed with what I believe are clips from “What Happens Tomorrow”. Overall, it isn’t a bad piece of video, and provides a little visual context to the music. Props to ReborninOktober for the effort. (This person has done videos for other DD deep cuts as well – check them out on YouTube)

Coming round now to share

While I watched, I thought about how the band ran a video production contest for the entire All You Need is Now album. Fans submitted videos for each of the songs and the band chose their favorites. I seem to recall the videos being shown before DD gigs on that tour at some point. It was a great way to showcase fan production along with meeting their need for videos. After all, at one point or another, they had mentioned a hope of doing videos for the entire album. Done!

In this day and age, I’m not sure of the value behind music videos. My kids, for instance, don’t ever mention them. All three of them are avid You-Tube viewers, but music videos aren’t the type of content that keeps them going. It would seem to me that it is only my generation, the MTV kids of the 80s, that hold them with any sort of esteem. These days, marketing a rock band takes a different sort of direction from great lighting, story boards and say—supermodels.

Do you hear my wish

Don’t get me wrong, I love music videos. I’m one of those 1980s holdovers. While I have eagerly gotten on board with social media of all kinds, and loved connecting with the band when they were active on Twitter, I miss good videos. I miss good Duran Duran videos. Hell, I miss real MTV! I don’t know if it’s really the type of music I listen to that ages me, as much as my enthusiastic eagerness to back another music video channel that sends me straight to middle age. However, who takes the time and creativity with music videos anymore? I think maybe they’ve become something more of an afterthought than anything else of value.

So, where does that leave us? I dare suggest we’re at a point where fans take the effort into their own hands. All across YouTube, I find live performance clips, amateur photo montages, cleverly chopped and edited video mashings, and even expertly storyboarded, completely original production masterpieces—all done by fans, and not just for Duran Duran, but a plethora of bands, musicians, and artists. While at one point I may have worried about copyright material (and perhaps the lawyer types out there still do), I also consider the artistry and creativity, done with the inspiration of a favorite artist. While I doubt there’s any mistaking most, if not all of these videos for Russel Mulcahey’s genius, it is likely his work that served as brainchild and inspiration for many of these people.

Nothing I would rather like

No, it isn’t MTV. I suspect there will never be another. I do spend a little time mourning over those days gone by. I have a deep sense of gratitude for the era in which I grew up and matured. I also appreciate that in this day and age, we’ve been given tools to create our own masterpieces if we so choose. Many fans have done just that, and while they’re not widely broadcast, there are plenty out there worth watching. Sometimes, I’m even hard pressed to decide if it’s an official video or not!

In the meantime, here’s the link to a video for “Northern Lights”. If anyone happens to come across a video to share – let me know!

-R

We Twist and Shout

When we first began composing daily posts for this website, our goal was simply to share the daily activity of Duran Duran fans. Sometimes it centered around the good things, of which there are many. Other times, we focused on the not-so-great, which are not nearly as numerous, but sometimes overshadow everything else. I don’t know that we were cognizant of how many times we would write about friendship.

As fans, the one thing that bonds us all is our mutual love for the band. While we may not see eye-to-eye on anything else, including our favorite songs and albums, we all share mutual admiration for this band, which is sometimes forgotten during the heat of debate. Often, we are so set on being “right” that we forget we’ve all come together, more or less, for the same reason. Even Amanda and I forget that from time to time as we discuss blog topics with others, or defend our positions on certain posts.

Over the years, we’ve seen a great many blogs come and go. What I haven’t seen a lot of, though, are podcasts. The allure of speaking and being able to make a succinct point without tiptoeing though the minefield of written word is there, at least for me. I just don’t know that the world needs to hear more from me, at least on the subject of Duran Duran. This is why I appreciate podcasts like The D-Side, produced by my friend David. This month marks the completion of his first year at the helm, and he celebrated both the new year and the occasion by hosting a party in his hometown of Atlanta over the weekend.

I was not able to attend, unfortunately, but what drew me to write about the event was that others did. Out of nowhere, people hopped on a plane to Atlanta in order to spend one evening with other Duranies in celebratory spirit. We’re not talking about a weekend filled with events, or even a special concert somewhere. It was one evening in a club, and for some, they left the very next morning to get back to real life. If that doesn’t speak to the true definition of friendship amongst Duranies – I don’t know what will.

Duranies get a bad rap at times. Sometimes, yes, it’s earned. Bad attitudes, snarky on-line behavior, and of course the ever popular “knife-in-your-back” way with which some handle themselves tends to color all of us with one broad stroke. Even so, true friendships are out there. Amanda and I consistently run into people who gleefully tell us they met because of the band, and have remained friends ever since. She and I are in that same category. We met at a convention and have traveled great distances to meet up or get together, whether for shows, to do a road trip, or even a fun weekend.

I suppose I’m just saying that if you haven’t quite found your Duranie tribe just yet, don’t give up. With each album cycle, we find new opportunities to meet new people. Even if they don’t become your forever best friend, those people can feel a lot like home when you find yourself going to something alone.

Congratulations to The D-side on a first full-year of podcasts. I look forward to hearing more in 2020! Something tells me we’ll both have a lot to talk about and mull over.

-R

If I Had a Time Machine

DDHQ asked their typical Question of the Week today – wondering what show we would attend if we had a time machine.

At first, I gasped at the enormity of the question. Forty years of gigs seems like quite a few to wade through before settling on an answer. Do I go to the biggest one? Was there one show that I regret not being able to attend more than any other? Hell if I know!!

Suddenly, the answer became clear, which I’ll admit —is strange. I mean, we’re talking about an answer coming to me over the course of composing a single tweet, but it did. As easily as flipping a switch to turn on a light bulb, I knew exactly what I would choose.

In 2005, I did something that was so far beyond anything I could have ever dreamed for myself – I still think about it from time to time. I boarded a plane headed for Chicago. Once I got there (late night on St. Patrick’s Day, no less), I took a shuttle bus to a nearby hotel (The Doubletree near O’Hare) that was christened the Duranie Dorm. Inside, I was immediately greeted by people I hadn’t seen in six months. I don’t think I can properly describe the warmth, happiness and pure joy that spread like a bright light – going from the pit of my belly through to the ends of each of my fingers and toes. In that moment, I felt every bit of the Duranie magic that I have longed for in the years since. I was a part of the crowd: wanted, welcomed and included.

The following night, Amanda, my friend Jessica and I went to the All State Arena. First, we attended the VIP cocktail party – which by the way, was much nicer than they are today. I don’t mean that the food was better or that the drinks were fancy – it wasn’t that. It was the energy of the room. This was before the days of a fan hierarchy, before we were all aware of ourselves, so to speak. We were all there as fans from the 80s, looking to make good on a promise to ourselves to see this band play new music live. It didn’t matter who knew them, who had met them, or who had photos with them as much as it did that we were all there together in that room. Rather than listen with jealous ears over the tales of previous chance band encounters, most of us listened with thoughts of “could that really happen to me?” Our hearts and souls may have even answered that question with “Maybe. You never know.”

Once we heard the beginning sounds from Clear Static, the opening band – we raced down to our seats in the third row, right in front of where John would later stand. I still can’t quite believe I was there. Nearly fifteen years later, it feels like it was all a dream. We stood, danced and cheered for Clear Static. and then—we heard the heartbeats indicating that the band, the one we came to see, was in front of us.

I can distinctly remember being so nervous—I mean, John AND Roger were directly in front of us, smiling away—I couldn’t make my camera work. I fumbled with it, my hands shaking. Third row was so freaking close!! The rest of the show comes back to mind in teeny bits and pieces, so fragmented in my memory now that I can never be sure if it was something that happened that night or one evening later in Milwaukee. John grinning at us, Roger twirling his stick, and some guy playing guitar over in the far corner of the other side of the stage – trying to hide in the wings and not draw attention to himself (This was one of the shows when Dom stepped in for Andy while he was gone).

Afterwards, we squealed, talked, celebrated and basked in the afterglow. I’ll never forget it.

For me, my fandom isn’t defined by the things I didn’t have the chance to do (oh sure, I still think about that 1984 Sing Blue Silver tour from time to time), but by the experiences I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy. That night, and really – the entire weekend – was magical.

In many ways, I think that in the fifteen years since that show, I have continually tried to recreate that experience. It was the first concert I went to with not just one friend, but many. I had never traveled to see Duran Duran, or any band for that matter, so that was a first for me. The fan community felt far more like a warm hug than the rabid, cannibalized mob it tends to morph into whenever the band has been present in the years since. I can’t say times were so much better, but my own experience as a fan was shaped by that gig. I’d gladly do it all again.

-R

So if we sometimes fight

Doesn’t mean we’ve got problems

Things have been rough recently. I’m not writing this post in order to share my private life, as much as I’m writing to show that yeah, we all have problems. It isn’t easy.

Most of our readers know that I have been a stay-at-home mom for nearly twenty-three years, not counting the two school years I worked part time in the office of the learning center my kids attended. It boggles my mind to think about how long it’s been since I worked full-time. Even then, it wasn’t a “career”, really — I worked as a staffing coordinator at a temporary employment service. Honestly, I felt more like a warm-body that filled a seat more than anything else, which made the decision to stay home very easy. My boss at the time had zero respect for things like childcare or traditional working hours, and with my husband’s very long hours back then, there was no way I could keep working. My pay rate was a joke, and so it just made sense for me to quit. I didn’t think twice about it, and practically skipped out to the car when my doctor told me I’d have to stop working and go on bedrest for the final six weeks of my pregnancy.

Little did I realize what I was going to be giving up. At first, I don’t think I noticed the differences. It didn’t bother me that we were down to one salary, nor did it bug me that I’d be the one cooking and cleaning. I did that even when I was working, although with one and then two kids, I started feeling less like an equal and more like the unpaid help. My schedule became completely dependent on his. What time was he coming home? When did he get paid next? Where was he going on his next business trip, and when?

Doesn’t have to be serious

Staying at home is incredibly isolating. Most of my college friends sunk their teeth into their careers, while I was folding a never-ending pile of laundry. My sister-in-laws both worked outside of the home even after they had children. In my family, they were both considered intelligent go-getters. Me? I’m wasn’t quite bright enough to have a real career. After all, I went to school for a “liberal arts” degree, not science or engineering, or even marketing! The horror!!! Then there are the snide, sideways comments from family members about how I use his money and “have all the fun” while he works so hard.

We’ve all had problems, right?? And then….

That’s about when I got back into Duran Duran, met new friends, and organized a convention. Truthfully, and I’ve said this before – I think it saved my life, and most certainly our marriage on some level. I had my own things to talk about, to plan for, and to do. At first, my husband didn’t mind so much. I think in a lot of ways it all amused him, at least up until I started traveling for shows. Then, I’ll admit it became a little more annoying to him, purely because it was inconvenient. Suddenly I was asking for him to take care of the house and kids once, maybe twice a year over a long weekend. He would grumble about it, but most of the time it didn’t cause trouble.

Then I started blogging, and Amanda and I started trying to write. We took longer trips – and although the blog doesn’t always take long to write, we have a goal of getting something published, and so far, we haven’t hit on just the right formula for a publisher. Much of this has to do with the fact that we’re writing non-fiction, which is even tougher to get published than fictional work. There are fewer publishers, and because the market is smaller, it is just tougher to find a home for work like that. There are some other nuances to it all, but basically – it’s a science, and we are working on finding the right formula!

Ain’t always black and white

My husband is at the point now where he’s asked me to stop. He’s tired of the traveling (in fact he imposed a “moratorium” on flying to Duran Duran shows, which is why I’ve only gone to shows that are within driving distance for the last few years), and he’s even more tired of the blog and the writing. On one hand, he says he wants me to be happy, but on the other, he says it’s time for me to quit.

In his head, he feels like we’ve tried getting something published a few times and it hasn’t worked. Therefore it must just be that our writing isn’t very good or that we’re just not meant to do it. He doesn’t understand that being an author means you’re turned down far more often than you are accepted…and when I’ve tried explaining that, I’ve gotten nowhere fast. That’s all part of being an author, and why would my husband, the one person who is supposed to support my dreams – want to take that from me? I don’t have the answers. And then of course, there’s the Duran Duran thing.

It’s a problem, as I’m sure many of you can imagine. He doesn’t understand it, despite being married to me for 24 years now. To be fair, he didn’t know how big of a fan I was when we met, or even after we were married. It wasn’t until 2003 that I really wanted to get involved in the fan community. For my part, I suppose I did expect that he would be OK with me having friends all over the country, or being willing to let me go for girls’ weekends or do road trips without him. We never really talked about that aspect—it just happened. I don’t think it occurred to him that having this extra stuff, or my own “thing”, gave me some fulfillment I was lacking. Then again, my husband is pretty black and white about things. To him, it’s not necessary, so it doesn’t matter.

That’s just the way it is

Relationships are about give and take. Fandom is something that you either understand and support, or you don’t. Finding that happy medium is always a struggle. Despite the flow of happiness that I strive to outwardly display through my blog posts, I think it’s good to admit that it doesn’t always come easily. It isn’t just YOU who has a hard time with your husband (or wife, or partner, or even your job!) understanding how you feel about the band or why you do the things you do. We all have that issue from time to time. I think that’s why when it does all work out on occasion, it’s worth celebrating.

-R

What Does Appreciation Mean, anyway?

Good morning! I trust that most everyone had a nice weekend and is ready to tackle this week head on! This is our “back to school” week, and while part of me wants to crawl back into bed and cover up my head, the other part is excited to see what the year brings. But yeah, I’m also not looking forward to the 6am alarm each morning.

What does it really mean?

As most probably know, Duran Duran Appreciation Day was on Saturday. I loved seeing pictures and posts from all of the various events going on – from Durandy’s rally in Washington to a DD party in Tennessee hosted by our friend Kim, it was wonderful to see people getting together in the name of Duran Duran. Amanda and I did our part by hosting an online video party. It was wildly entertaining for me, and I still feel as though I may have missed my calling as a VJ…except for the whole “you need to be on camera and not behind a computer screen” sort of thing.

As I chatted with people all day, I thought about the meaning of Duran Duran Appreciation Day. A fair amount of fans posted comments saying they really don’t get it, because they appreciate the band every day. Fair enough. I too, tend to appreciate this band each day. Hard not to with a blog name like “Daily Duranie”, am I right? But seriously, what does a day like Duran Duran Appreciation Day really mean, then?

Is it about taking time?

I am looking for responses here, but in the meantime, I’ll share my own experience. I write this blog Monday through Thursday most weeks. In the bit of time it takes me to write, I suppose I do think about what the band means to me, although some days more than others. Aside from that, the vast majority of my daytime hours are consumed with being a mom and doing all the things I need to do to keep my house going.

Cooking, cleaning, laundry…all things that I don’t really love doing, but have to do as my contribution to the household. I don’t really listen to music at home (this is probably going to shock people) because my husband works from home 3-4 days a week. He’s on video conferencing most of the day, which means I have to be quiet. Finding time to vacuum before 6pm is a challenge! I don’t sit and watch videos, and reading books – something I dearly love – is something I do after my chores are finished. Which sometimes means never. <insert grin here>

So, to me, Duran Duran Appreciation Day is about taking actual time to enjoy the band. I took real time on Saturday, setting aside all of my normal chores to sit, gab with friends, watch videos, and marvel about how much I still enjoy doing all of the above. Sometimes, I actually forget! In my head, it isn’t necessarily all about giving thanks to Duran Duran for being there – I mean, I do that already quite often!! I think it’s actually about taking time to enjoy them without having to set aside an entire weekend or more to travel away from my house to do it!

I love being reminded why this band is my favorite!

Maybe I’m alone, but one of the main reasons why I love traveling to concerts so much is so that I can seriously “talk Duran” all day, every day if I want, without feeling guilty about not getting the washing done, or being too loud. Those weekends are the few times where my own wants and needs come first. I get to see my friends, we sit and really TALK. It comes down to time, for me. Taking the time to enjoy them. That’s what makes those weekends special.

I don’t know that there’s really a wrong answer to what Duran Duran Appreciation Day might mean to a fan. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing people post about the band all day. Smiling faces, holding up posters, pictures of band members with various fans, t-shirts of all colors and designs, all of those things are what make the day special each year. Chatting with friends, laughing over clothing choices, squeeing over guitar solos (Ok, so that might have been mostly me), swooning over nostalgic documentaries…Saturday was so much fun. I liked taking the time to be reminded of why I love this band. That’s what I believe Duran Duran Appreciation Day is really about.

I can hardly wait until the next one!

-R

Join us Saturday for an Online #DDAD19 party!

Welcome to Thursday! Before we get too much farther into it, I apologize for not posting yesterday. It was school registration day for my youngest.

Yesterday was a big day. I had a nervous but very excited tween, and my attention for the better part of the morning needed to be with her. Next Wednesday is “back to school”. I think she’s excited and I’m still trying to understand how she could possibly be in 6th grade already.

By the time I got home, I had to get on a conference call, and then I had a meeting with Amanda about Duran Duran Appreciation Day plans that I’m about to share!

This year, celebrate Duran Duran Appreciation Day with Daily Duranie! We are hosting an online video party, complete with a “suggested” cocktail list!

Who: EVERYONE!

When: SATURDAY, AUGUST 10TH. 11 am West Coast US, 1PM Central, 2PM East Coast US….please do the math from there to calculate the proper time for your area of the world. 🙂 This is a “Drop In” party, meaning that if you can’t make it at 11am, drop in whenever you’re able! We have a video viewing schedule that we’ll adhere to (see notes below!)

Where: ONLINE! We will be live tweeting throughout the day on Twitter, using the hashtag #DDAD19.

For ease of viewing, we compiled the videos into a single playlist, and I’ll tweet that out on Saturday. All you’ll need to do is hit “play”, then sit back, squee like a Duranie – and tweet with us! For now, here’s the general idea of what we’re watching and drinking.

Viewing Schedule with Progressive Cocktail Menu

  • Kennedy Space Center show (“Something Alien’s Happening” Pimms No. 1 Cup)
  • Behind The Music (“White Light Shining Bright” Gin &Tonic)
  • Off the Record from 1981
  • DD Talk Paper Gods (“High waters and neon” Green Screwdrivers)
  • Hollywood Bowl 2015 (“We drank all of the vodka” Vodka & Tonic)
  • Sing Blue Silver (“That’s what the band wants” Blue vodka lemonade)
  • Reunion documentary (“Why don’t we have decent glasses?” red or white wine of your choice)
  • Live from London
  • Diamond in the Mind (“If you made it this far, you’re probably drunk” Tequila shots to finish you off.)

No really, if you tried the entire menu, you’re done now. Go to bed and sleep it off. Trust us.

Cocktail Recipes and shopping list

Pimms No. 1 Cup

One part Pimms No. 1 base mix* (this is made with gin)

Two parts “fizzy lemonade”, or ginger-ale

Pour over ice in a tall highball glass. Garnish ideas: cucumber, mint, orange and/or lemon slices – whatever fruit you prefer.

*Simon’s recipe is to pour a “decent” measure of Pimms and top with ginger ale…. I’ll just remind everyone that the art of progressive drinking is a MARATHON, not a sprint.

Gin and Tonic

Does this really need a recipe? Just in case….

One part gin* of your choice, to two parts tonic in a glass over ice. Garnish with either lemon or lime, depending upon taste.

*Remember, it’s a marathon. 😀

Green Screwdrivers (there is a reason we went with a drink that is green in color for the corresponding videos. Maybe some of you will remember…) This drink has real measurements. A shot glass can be anywhere from 1.5-2 oz (or even more I guess. Good luck!!)

4 oz orange juice

1 oz vodka

1 oz Blue Curacao

2 oz lemon-lime soda

Pour over ice in a tall glass. Garnish with a cherry, sit back and enjoy!

Blue Vodka Lemonade

The name sounds more complicated than it is, I promise!! (although by now – you may have difficulty measuring. Best. Of. Luck.)

One part vodka

One part blue curaçao

Two parts lemonade

Pour in a glass over ice. Garnish with a lovely maraschino cherry!

Vodka & Tonic

By now, maybe you’re cursing at Amanda and I, and perhaps we even deserve it. We’ve chosen to make it easy on everyone, and just throw in our own personal favorite!

One part vodka

Two parts tonic

Pour over ice. Garnish with lemon or lime. (we usually go with lime)

Simple. If you’re calorie conscious, you could always substitute club soda for the tonic. At this point though, who cares?!?

Wine

This should be self-explanatory. I’ll just say here that mixing alcohol can be regretful and leave it at that.

Open bottle of red or white wine – your choice.

Pour in glass.

Done. Could it really be any easier?!?

Last but not least….

Tequila Shots

We can’t imagine anyone making it this far….but if you did, pour yourself a shot of decent tequila, get yourself some salt and a lime. Steady yourself, and see ya on the other side!

Shopping list!

  • Bottle of Pimms No. 1 Cup
  • Gin of your choice
  • Vodka of your choice
  • Blue Curacao liqueur
  • tonic
  • orange juice
  • lemonade
  • ginger-ale
  • lemon-lime soda (like sprite)
  • lemon
  • lime
  • fresh mint
  • cucumber
  • orange
  • maraschino cherries

We hope to see tweets from many of you on Saturday! Rock your fave DD t-shirt, listen to all of the music with abandon, and celebrate the sheer pleasure of Duran Duran’s music for the last FORTY YEARS. Even during these turbulent, screwed up times -we can take a day, or even just a few hours, to marvel in the music that as accompanied us along our way. Happy Duran Duran Appreciation Day!!

-R

Fan-made Time is Durantime

I don’t know if Amanda or I have flat-out written the words here, but we’ve been working on a new project. Right now, it is not much more than a very basic outline – topics, basically – of a direction we’d like to take, but we’re both reading, and doing some researching, and reflecting. I don’t think either of us have quite given up the dream of having something published, but it has taken us quite a while to decide to try writing again.

So with that in mind, yesterday I was reading about teen fans of bands such as One Direction and The Beatles. While there are many, many things I could write about here – ways fans have been marginalized, or how pop was created for women (true story!), I’m going to stick to something a little more basic and easy-reading.

I’ve been reading, writing and studying fans now for as long as we’ve been writing this blog (longer, actually). I am continually learning new terms and angles to see things. Yesterday, I learned about “fan made” time, which applies directly to us as Duran Duran fans.

In this community, we have something called “Durantime”, which is a well-loved moniker we’ve applied to the wait-time in between albums, projects, tours, etc. In our case, “Durantime” not only describes the time, but it also has come to be known as the clock the band uses (which is unlike any clock or calendar I’ve ever known). In this sense, we hear things like “the album will be done when it is done” – which is Durantime for “it could take decades. Probably should go get yourself some sustenance and another hobby while you wait!” Or, “we hope to tour next year” which could easily mean, “we hope to travel to Mars.”

Yes, I’m exaggerating a little…and maybe poking a little bit of fun at the guys. Hey, at least I didn’t mention that one time when Roger announced that the album would be finished by year end and instead it took another couple of years!

Oh wait. I just mentioned it. Oops!

Regardless, “fan-made” time is the wait in between present and whatever anticipated event is coming next. That could be a show, a tour, a movie, interview, appearance, etc. The term is rather elastic and fits just about everything. In my opinion, the word “Durantime” is far catchier, but a lot less generic. What makes fan-made time such an interesting topic though, is that it is one way fans have taken back control.

What does that mean? Well, we have zero control over when the band tours or when the new album is coming out…or even when they plan…IF they plan…to do anything more to celebrate #DD40. So, fans do what they can with that downtime and “in-between” space. They control that piece but doing countdowns, having fan parties, creating whatever content they wish during that time. It is about the fans continuing the party without the guests of honor, so to speak.

The thing about fan-made time is that even while we’re sitting outside of a GA venue, or waiting in line at whatever event might be taking place, we’re creating that fan space. Talking to friends in line, organizing ourselves into a systematic group, even chatting about the set list, or taking surveys or citing our own fan stories are all ways we manage fan-made time. I would say it is THAT space where (and when) we go from being relative strangers to a community.

Fan-made time as Duran Duran fans in the same way that fangirls of other bands do. They might be two decades younger, or lived out their concert days in the 60s, but we all do the same things. Just a little something of interest from yesterday’s reading…

-R

Something On My Mind

Hello, Monday. I feel as though somewhere along the way, I lost one of my weekend days, because it feels like Monday arrived far too early. I’m still trying to regain some of the hours of sleep I missed out on from being at Vidcon last week. I wish I could say it was due to having so much fun, but in this case, I just didn’t sleep well.

We drove home late Saturday night, and arrived to see many tweets and posts about the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 – corresponding with the Kennedy Space Center show tomorrow.

I’m light years away

When the show was first announced, I knew right away that there’d be no way for me to get there. Sure, I could blame it on not having enough notice, but I could have had a month’s notice or even more, and still not been able to attend. Several years back, I went to a lot of things. I would fly across the country, and I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit that many times, I didn’t even think twice about it. Three spousal job layoffs/changes, one very large move, childbirth, college, and countless grey hairs later, I’m finding that I not only think twice, I know I can’t travel like that anymore.

That fact is something I guess I’m still coming to terms with. I went from going to one show a tour (or even less), to taking a single trip to New Orleans and then Chicago, which ignited something in me. Suddenly, I felt the need to try and go to everything. My husband was less-than-thrilled with the arrangement. Usually though, I’d win him over by saying I’d save money in other ways, or that he didn’t have to buy me birthday/Christmas/Valentines/Mothers Day gifts, etc. In some ways that worked, but in others – I can see how selfish I was. Any extra money I came across would go towards seeing Duran Duran, and the fact is—when you have three kids and live in Southern California, there isn’t a lot of extra anything!

My head is full of chopstick

Even so, fandom – or planning to go to shows – was sort of like a drug for me. I couldn’t say no, and yet I didn’t go to nearly as many shows as a lot of people. Gigs would be announced and I’d think “Fly to Chicago? Oh, I shouldn’t…but I will!” “Go away for five or six days and see more than three shows? YES!” I wanted to go. I desperately wanted to be a part of the fandom wave that everyone seemed to be caught in.

During the Astronaut tour, which was really the first when I’d gotten involved online and knew people from all over the country – I’d sat on the sidelines for the most part. I went to two shows: Chicago and All-State Arena, and Milwaukee. That last one had been added to my itinerary without telling my husband. He’d expressly told me prior to even buying my Chicago ticket that I could choose ONE show to see, and that was it. “The concerts don’t change that much, Rhonda!”

Turns out, that while the set might not change that much (One night I heard “Nice” and the other I heard “Union of the Snake”), there are far more other, more subtle things, that do. Roger waved at us in Milwaukee. I cried when I heard “Tiger Tiger” in Chicago. I stood outside and waved to the band when they left the Riverside Theatre in Milwaukee. I had my closest friends with me for Chicago, and got to drive to Milwaukee with a full car of Duranies. That was the first time I’d ever done something like that. After those two shows, I never wanted to miss anything again.

I’m making a break

However, that was/is an impossibility, at least for me. I’ve never had carte blanche to go to any show I want. I don’t work outside of the home, and my money is never my own money. Even when I’ve done what I consider to be a ridiculous number of shows, I’ve had to pick and choose. Sometimes, I’ve chosen wrong. That’s the crap shoot of life, I suppose. In darker moments, I wonder what it would have been like if I could have gone to all the Astronaut shows my friend Jessica went to see, or if I could have flown overseas as many times as other friends have gone. Would I feel any differently about the band now?

Over the years, I’ve seen people come and go. After having been an active fan in the online community for nearly two decades now, I have seen some patterns of behavior emerge from the fog and dust. I think about the people who seemed to be “regulars” for the Astronaut and RCM tours, and for the most part – those people don’t come around often now, and I rarely see them.

Maybe they stopped going to shows or participating online because life circumstances changed. Perhaps it was because they got sick of some of the childish drama that goes on between fans. Maybe it was something else entirely -but the fact remains that they’re not doing much these days. I have friends who went to 14, maybe 15 shows for Astronaut that just stopped following the band for the most part Can there really be too much of a good thing?

They should be mine

Getting back to my situation here – I have serious budget constraints that make it nearly impossible for me to fly very often. I don’t even fly to visit my mom or sister, so how on earth can I justify flying to see a band that doesn’t even know I exist? It is particularly frustrating when I’ve made the decision to buy tickets to something, and then another opportunity comes up that sounds even better.

For example, tomorrow Duran Duran is playing at the Kennedy Space Center for the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11. As soon as this show was announced, I knew there was no way I could go. The idea of traveling to Florida was out of the question. A flight from here would easily cost $500 during the summer, plus the $300 ticket for the concert, another $300 or more for a hotel room and the additional expenses for food, uber and drinks. It adds up quickly to a similar amount that my family might spend on a camping vacation – one that we’re not even taking this year. HOWEVER…

Had I known that they were going to be playing this show in advance of buying the tickets for Las Vegas (each was $441, if I remember correctly) I might have chosen differently. Sure, I’ll see Duran Duran three times in September whereas if I’d gone to Florida I’d only be seeing them once – but how many times does someone get the chance to see Duran Duran at the Kennedy Space Center??? I worry that I made the wrong choice. Zigged when I should have zagged…bought when I should have waited.

I’m saying this in private

Similar scenarios have happened before. In 2013, Amanda and I along with a committee of amazing helpers worked our butts off to put on a fan convention in Chicago. I can’t remember the precise timing, but I would say that within days of returning from that weekend, Duran Duran announced a special opportunity to see the debut of UnStaged at MOMA in New York City.

I think that at least to begin with – both she and I weren’t too upset. I mean, to some degree we’d wished we could go. We’d worked hard to put on that convention for fans, and in a lot of ways New York City seemed like it would be a great way to reward ourselves. Even so, Amanda didn’t have time off from work, and my husband had pretty much declared a moratorium on spending money and traveling. Just getting to Chicago was hard enough. Amanda and I paid the same amount of money to attend the convention as every one else. That’s right – we bought tickets to the very convention we were putting on for everyone else to enjoy. I paid for my flight from California, and Amanda and I split the cost of our hotel room., same as everyone else. That money did not come out of the convention budget. No sooner did I get home and back to an exploding family crisis when the MOMA show was announced.

We absolutely tasted our share of sour grapes while watching a few of the same people who came to our convention fly on to NYC. I remember feeling so dejected after I saw how the evening went. What started as a screening ended up as a cocktail party with the band present. There were pictures, and the band seemed so welcoming to fans that night…those who were there were so lucky!! Oh well, right? What can you do??

Breaking open doors I’ve sealed up before

Even with the missteps I’ve taken along the way (and there have been many), I can’t be bitter. My days of sour grapes are over. I’ve done and seen a lot – much more than a lot of people. I’ve had times when I’ve been able to afford to go to a lot of shows and travel, and now I’m in a time where I really just can’t. Oddly, I feel like I’ve won the lottery because for the past few years – coincidentally the time when I’ve been least able to afford to fly – the band has played within reasonable driving distance to where I live. I am very lucky, which is why you’re not going to see me complain about set lists or much anything else. My luck isn’t going to hold out forever though, and I would imagine that next year – should they decide to tour for their 40th anniversary – I’ll be sitting at home doing most of my cheering.

I also can’t ignore the fact that for most of the rest of the world, they’ve had to sit on the sidelines since before Paper Gods was released, watching the US fans complain about ticket prices, set lists, and the like. It is easy to forget that many of these worldwide fans would pay whatever ticket price the band wanted, and would be willing to listen to whatever set the band plays, just to be able to see them.

Looking for cracks in the pavement

The reality is, most of us just can’t go to everything. I feel like I’m a recovering addict in that sense. Every time something is announced, I have to forcibly talk myself out of feeling like I need to go. I’m learning to say “no” to myself more and more often. I can’t say it’s easy, but a lot of times, it’s necessary. I’m not responsible for only myself. I have a family and husband to consider, and I wouldn’t trade my family for all of the Duran Duran shows in the world. That’s progress, right?

I see friends tell one another all the time that they should just buy the ticket and that they’ll make more money later. That thinking might work, until something catastrophic happens. I’ll never forget going to New York City in 2007 to see the special fan show that fell on Father’s Day. My husband and dad were fine with me going, and I came home to celebrate with them the following weekend. Little did I know at the time, that was the last Father’s Day I’d ever spend with my dad. I think about that a lot.

I’m a work in progress. Every single time I start feeling self-pity because I can’t be in Florida, or something else, I quickly force myself to acknowledge that other fans in the world haven’t done much in several years. I have one hell of lot of nerve feeling bad about one single event. That usually snaps me out my funk. I still feel like a recovering addict in some weird ways – but I’m working on it.

-R

These Beautiful Colors

Good morning, Duran Duran fans.

It is Thursday morning, and I am currently sitting in my daughter’s apartment in Fullerton, California. It is about a zillion degrees in here, and the traffic from the street outside is enough to wake the dead

My kids and I arrived yesterday to go to Vidcon. We went to pick up our badges and things when we got to Anaheim, and then drove to where we’re staying with my oldest. I’ve only been gone from Southern California for six months, and I’ve decided that I can never come back here to live permanently. Too crowded, too frenetic…and just too everything. I apparently have slowed WAY down since moving, which is both good and bad, I suppose.

Til the colors bleed

So, Vidcon. It’s like all the internet fandoms poured into a confetti cannon along with rainbows, unicorns, and glitter. Then someone stood in the center of the convention center area with a firehose, and sprayed. Vidcon is both horrifyingly shallow, and incredibly inclusive. I can’t quite figure it out. I’ve never seen so many girls (and yes, I do mean girls – they’re way too young to be women) so worried about how they look. Nor have I seen SO many selfies being taken all at once. Upon first glance, I admit being concerned for my youngest, and youth in general. That said, I suspect there’s far more depth going on than meets the eye.

Yesterday afternoon, I stood in line to use the restroom, and a girl walked past in a micro mini skirt, tube (or bandeau) top, and platform sneakers that had to be at LEAST a foot high. Another very tiny young lady was with her mom as she was being herded towards the “Creator” area, wearing the smallest, most glittery, silver boots I’ve ever seen. Nick would have approved. I didn’t know who she was, but she was stopped more than once for selfies on the short walk to the roped off area set aside for talent, production, and other YouTube creator-types. (I suppose our few v-logs don’t really count!)

There is a lot of that at this convention. I’ll see kids swarming around someone like worker bees to a queen, and then they all move on to another one. All the while, I’m trying to see if I recognize the person they were surrounding, and so far, the answer has been “nope!” The trouble with YouTube, or at least as I see it – there are too many freaking YouTube channels with far too many pseudo-celebrities!

Everyone’s their own universe

Sure, there are some serious breakout YouTube stars. There are people pulling down far more per month or year than I’ll make in a lifetime. That said, there are far more kids that have YouTube channels and subscribers that aren’t exactly Sofie Dossi, Jake Paul, or Kasey Neistat…or even Pewdie Pie. (In full disclosure – I had to consult with Gavin on those names. I don’t know who in the heck these kids are, but I will say out of the four names he gave, only one is female. Fascinating.) There are many people who work very hard only to have a few thousand subscribers or even tens of thousands, and yet they’re not really stars in any other arena besides YouTube. It makes me wonder.

So today we’re headed out for a full day of programming. I’m looking forward to seeing these fandoms in their full glory and reporting back! Is it all that much different from Duran Duran?? We will see!

-R

Another YouTube Star

Today is a busy day. I had an appointment in the morning and then a meeting with Amanda. I leave for another appointment in a few minutes. Later, I’ll pack for a trip to SoCal with two of my kids (and we’re crashing at the apartment of the third).

I’m headed to Vidcon.

Those are words I never thought I’d be typing. So far in adulthood, I’ve learned that saying “never” almost insures the opposite happening. Going to Vidcon, with all of it’s teen influencer glory, is exactly the opposite of what I’d hoped this summer. Alas….

Looking for the real world

My youngest is 11. This year for her birthday, she begged for a ticket to Vidcon. This is basically a convention for YouTubers. I’m still struggling with the idea that my child watches YouTube like I would have watched television, or even music videos! Anybody ever heard of MTV??

As convention time has grown closer, I’ve considered the full enormity of what I agreed to do. The thought of wandering around a very crowded convention center, dealing with the tween+ crowd for four days…. Well, I’ve likely lost any good sense I had left, anyway. I look forward to bonding and trailing behind her – likely FAR behind her (she is, in fact, a tween!) this week. I’m also inwardly groaning a bit. I’ve caught myself thinking about how I was as a tween several times this week. While my girl seems to have idols that are creators (she loves animation), I was obviously into music. My parents had just as much interest in taking me to see Duran Duran, as I do Vidcon in some ways.

My plan is to really be on the lookout for obvious displays of fandom. I suspect I won’t have to look far. Also, Amanda and I have been tossing around an idea for a new writing project, and I’m curious to see how some of the themes we’ve discussed may manifest themselves. The fact is, pop culture in the day and age of YouTube is something that I haven’t had too much of an opportunity to study. I’m looking forward to seeing it in person. Is teenage fandom in 2019 all that different from what I experienced during the mid-1980s?

In this screen-lit room

The good news is that I’m not the only adult on this road trip. Her big brother has moved back home. As a veteran Blizzcon attendee, he had all sorts of thoughts and ideas for his little sister and her first “con”. Then a light bulb went on – I could just get another ticket and have the boy go along with us! After all, he’s been on YouTube since it’s infancy. While he might not spend as much time watching now as he once did, the kid knows his way around a convention. He understands the community far better than I do, and this seems like a great brother/sister bonding opportunity.

I’m lucky in this regard, because my son and youngest daughter are very close. He’s taught her, or tried to teach her, everything he knows about computers and gaming. While he tries to play it off as not caring too much about Vidcon, I have a feeling he’s going to enjoy being there.

My first concert was seeing Power Station at Irvine Meadows in 1985. My cousin and I couldn’t go alone, so somehow her older brother was put in charge and had to go along with us. I suspect that whatever adult made that decision probably thought that it would be good bonding for us too. All I remember about any bonding going on was being told to “stop screaming like a girl and sit down”. Sit down? At a concert???

If we can stay awake

So tomorrow is the day. We will leave early in the morning, and I would imagine it’s going to feel like the longest day ever. However, I’m sure the littlest Rivera (who isn’t really that little anymore) will have a great time. Me? Oh, I’m going to find the Parent Lounge and park myself for at least part of the time – and I’m sure I’ll be tweeting and trying to find some sort of smart commentary to make with regard to fandom!

-R