Tag Archives: fans

If You Know What It’s All About: Lyrics and Meanings

Over Thanksgiving, my oldest was at home. She is studying choreography in school, and this semester she is working on a final movement project. She showed me the piece she’s been developing, explaining that this is kind of a rough draft for a much longer and more involved idea she wants to work on for her senior year. She didn’t give me a lot of explanation beyond that and wanted me to watch and then talk with her afterwards.

I watched the work, and vaguely came up with the thought that the dance (this piece is pretty modern, as opposed to jazz, ballet, or even contemporary) must be about inner and outer struggles. I shared this with her and she brightened, saying that she was glad I recognized the basic concept of the inner and outer forces. Then we talked more about what she hoped to convey.  The story she shared with me was wildly different from my thoughts. I was a little dismayed because it all seemed pretty vague, and I shared this with her. Heather explained that she’s come to the realization that the actual meanings of the dances aren’t what matter. She’s not concerned about whether someone recognizes the full story she’s sharing. She just wants to convey the appropriate feeling. This confused me, because I always thought the whole point of choreography was to tell a story.  If the audience doesn’t “get” the story, what is the real point then?

I thought about this piece she’s in for an upcoming show. It’s called “Scanners”, and I have to say – it is very violent and animalistic. When I see it (I’ve seen her in it twice now), I have to try to forget that Heather is my daughter and just take in the piece for what it is. I’m actually amused at the thought that her grandparents are going to see her perform it, because the movements are territorial and savage. I can see that when I’m watching. I can hear it through the breathing on stage. The music doesn’t even convey those feelings – it’s all in the dance itself. But I don’t know the story of the dance. Not even a little. I just know that when I see it, it reminds me of how insensitive we’ve grown towards one another. I always say we’re losing our humanity. This dance conveys that feeling. I thought about that as Heather continued to explain choreography to me.

Then she said something that made everything clear.

In art, it isn’t about getting the meaning right. When we see a painting and it creates an emotion, or when we hear a song and it makes us feel something – it doesn’t matter what the artist originally intended, or what story they wanted to share. It’s about what the viewer feels. This is why artists don’t readily share what a painting is really about (some might, but most do not). It’s left to interpretation. Why? Because even though the artist used the work as a way to tell a story – our heart responds to a song or a dance work because of what WE think it means. Why would an artist want to precondition you to feel something rather than allow you to experience that emotion organically on your own? That would have the potential to change the entire encounter, because the perception would not be self-owned or pure.

As Heather and I discussed this, of course my mind leapt to Duran Duran. How many times over the years has Simon said that he doesn’t like to explain his lyrics? Granted, much of that may be out of a concern for his own privacy, but I have also read and heard Simon say many times that he wants the listener to be able to have their own meanings for the songs.

I can remember talking with someone about “Finest Hour”. I explained what the song meant to me. At one time it was my favorite song on Astronaut. This person said that the “real” story was that the song was about the US, specifically about the president at the time (George W. Bush). After hearing that, I never quite enjoyed the song in the same way, and I almost wish I didn’t know what the lyrics meant. It changed my perception entirely.

Another example I can give is even more recent. A few weeks back, the band celebrated the anniversary of Medazzaland, and Simon discussed the meaning of the song, “Who Do You Think You Are?”, saying that it was about his relationship with Warren. I knew several people that openly said they wished Simon never said anything about that, because it made them hear the song differently. Still others admonished Simon for writing about his relationship with Warren at all.

In both cases, listeners heard the song, and came away with their own perceptions and meanings, whether those were positive or even negative. It completely changes the way we hear a song or the way it makes us feel when we’re told the true meanings of the lyrics. I can’t say for certain if this is why Simon doesn’t like to share the exact meanings of the lyrics he’s written, but I think I understand the possible reasons even more so now than before.

There is no right or wrong “answer” for what a painting, picture, dance work, song, or even a book or poem might mean. We are meant to come away with our own feelings and meanings based on our own life experiences and perceptions. That’s a tough pill to swallow for those who operate in terms of black and white and want to know what Simon was thinking.  For the many who, like me, fall into the grey area – this is bliss. The songs can mean whatever we need them to mean. It’s a gift from the artist to the rest of us.

-R

 

 

 

 

Late Bar: The Daily Duranie Holiday Office Party!

Has everyone gotten their travel arrangements together for Las Vegas? If you happen to be arriving the day before the big show at The Cosmopolitan, we might have just the right answer for your evening!

Our friend Jason works at the Hard Rock Cafe in Vegas, and was willing to put together a fabulous meet-up for us. On December 29th at Hard Rock Live at the Hard Rock Cafe on Vegas Strip (across from Monte Carlo) , we are going to party the night away in style, complete with a soundtrack provided by Duran Duran and other New Wave along with Happy hour drink specials. It is going to be a late start – at 9:30 pm – that way those who are arriving closer to evening time have a chance to settle in before they get out and enjoy our own special edition of Late Bar.  Hard Rock Live also has a comedy show happening at 8pm that night, and admission is FREE to  Daily Duranie followers who want to attend. Just RSVP to us at dailyduranie@gmail.com and we will get you on the guest list!

We have an event page set up on Facebook, and in the details I have the end time as 12:30am – truth be told that Facebook insists on an end time, so that seemed like a good one. Otherwise, this could be an all-nighter with Amanda and I reaching up for the sunrise before we call it done!

We have given this the tagline of our holiday office party because it is unusual that Amanda and I are actually in the same state, much less are able to celebrate the holidays together!  I can assure you – we will be making up for lost time that night. Come hang out with us, be social, make new friends, and create plenty of memories to bring in 2018!

Hope to see as many of you as possible that night – it will be a great warm up for the following evening!

-R

 

You’ve Got That Thing That Makes Us Smile

I love the days when the blogs just write themselves. 🙂

I hopped on Twitter and Facebook this morning before preparing myself to do battle with a pre-sale a bit later. Blogging is an issue today because I’m short on time. I had no idea what I’d write about, primarily because writing about pre-sales, or the aftermath, is so passé. Been there, written it a thousand times. I’m sure I’m probably do it again. Just not today. Maybe. Oh, and yes, I’m participating in the presale I told Durandy not TWO days ago I was rethinking.

I just can’t stay home. It’s that simple. Let’s hope the ticket gods are kind.

To my surprise, Duran Duran posted a fan video this morning for Face For Today. Now, this is not your ordinary music video tribute to Duran Duran. No, this is truly a FAN video, and if you watch it, you’ll see why. For me though, I could get no further than 2.5 seconds into it before I felt some strange gooey feeling go through me. I suspect it might have been my ice-cold heart melting, but I’m not sure. 😀

(I know it’s wrong to include emojis in a blog. I don’t care.)

I don’t want to ruin it for everyone, but if you haven’t watched it, you should.

Addressing what I’m thinking or feeling right now without making too much comment is a challenge.  I’ll start here: over the years, I’ve seen a lot of comments from fans saying that the band doesn’t care. In fact, I have made comments similar to that (I actually think those very words have come out of my mouth from time to time, if not my fingers here on this blog). For fans, it is shockingly easy to come to that revelation. We all sometimes feel very far removed, and the music business itself isn’t really set up for human emotion at times. It’s run like, well, a sometimes vile and filthy business. I think that while fans forget that this is all about the career of four or five people (many others behind the scenes, I might add), the true business of Duran Duran may sometimes forget that fans are people. We’re not just dollar signs in the appropriate column, or part of a target demographic. We also aren’t just complaint bubbles with faces attached. The scenario is equal parts push and pull.

During the rarest golden moments, all of that extraneous, icky stuff that blinds us all falls away. We’re left to see one another, our faces beautifully vulnerable and real. That’s what this video is about, and I loved every minute of it.

The band cares. They can’t always show it in the same way that I cannot break down every single time a child hurts themselves at recess, or cries in kindergarten because they miss mommy, or is in emotional pain because my office is the only place they feel safe. That doesn’t mean I’m emotionless, it just means that sometimes we have to get the job done, still preserving a little something for ourselves at the end of the day.

Sometimes, it’s nice to see that those four guys: Simon, John, Nick and Roger, see us. They know we’re there even if they can’t always acknowledge it. I won’t copy their words, but the music really is between us. Nothing, and I mean it when I type the word nothing, in my life has ever inspired me more than witnessing the phenomenon of what happens when people come together to celebrate a band and their music.

Amanda and I aren’t in this video. We are just a couple of idiots who saw the call go out for selfies, and never got it together. Truth be told, in my own head – I saw no point if I couldn’t take a picture with her.  I never said these words to anyone, but without offense to the band, we’re a package deal. My face is really nothing without hers when it comes to this band. I can barely remember a time when I didn’t know her and our lives didn’t revolve (somewhat) around Duran Duran. Besides, in some weird way, I kind of like that this video is about everyone else. Yes, we’re fans, but YOU, dear reader, are the real story.

I saw so many familiar faces in that video, and yes, it made me smile. So many beautiful people from all over the world uniting. If that’s not inspiring, well, I just don’t know.

-R

 

This blog is made from blood, sweat, and tears

Amanda and I don’t use the blog to tout successes very often. We want to write about being fans, and the blogs come from our own experiences. This post is personal, in that aspect.

Not too long ago, I wrote a bit of a review for a musician from Denmark named Michael Kratz. He had released a song back in July that he worked on with Dom. I wrote about it because I am a fan of Dom’s, and kind of forgot about it. Michael contacted me a couple of weeks later to thank me, and then ask if I’d be willing to get another one of his songs early and then blog about it since this new song also featured Dom.

I was overjoyed. I appreciated that Michael really asked for my help and trusted me with his music. I am not an author or a journalist. I am a fan. A blogger. Not many people take that seriously.  I jumped at the opportunity, and listened to the song hundreds of times before writing. (I’ve learned my lesson well, thanks to Duran Duran and our friend Lori Majewski.) I published the blog and hoped it would be taken well.

It’s kind of weird to admit that as a woman in my 40’s, I own a fan blog. Part hobby, part “full-time job that I wish were a paying one”, Amanda and I have operated the blog for seven years now. My own big dream was to have this blog lead to something that I could make into a career. I had no idea how, or what – which has always been my problem – so it is no surprise that Daily Duranie is still very much my “volunteer work”. We pay to host this site, which isn’t super cheap. We travel on our own dime, pay to go to shows, and all that stuff.  I spend a lot of time working on this site. In fact, even right now I should be working on “homeschool” with my youngest, but instead I’m writing and we’ll do school a bit later today than normal. As for money, I don’t want to think about how much we spend right now, because I will truly have a panic attack, so I won’t. Yes, we pay to write about Duran Duran. Does that make us a joke? To some, probably.

I’m pretty unsure of myself on even the best of days. My self-confidence isn’t the greatest. Lately I’ve been battling a case of the insecurities. I read things, and then have a really hard time letting go.  I’ve gotten better about it, but I still have a long way to go.  Additionally, I have a very hard time seeing and admitting to myself the good things the blog has done. It’s easier to see and believe the bad things I read and hear about the blog, and even myself as a person, I guess.

Today though, I received a message that really made a difference.  It turns out that Michael was offered record deals in two countries, and in both cases the label mentioned MY article specifically. The best part is that he wanted me to know, so he messaged me today. I’m still beaming, because it feels good to see wonderful things happen to genuinely hard-working people. I’m sure the blog played no more than the tiniest part in his record deals, but the fact that he wanted me to know warms my heart in a way I really needed.

I know that most people don’t really care about a fan site. Hell, we have a hard time getting anyone—even most of the band’s backing players, to take us seriously enough to even fill out a Q&A so that we can in turn promote them and their own careers—so I get it. By the same token, it is not just fans that read and follow Daily Duranie. We have music producers, other bands, news magazines, radio and TV show hosts, authors, and even record labels following and reading, and I’m proud of that.

Today though, I am so pleased to know that a genuinely kind and incredibly talented person I met as a result of this very blog is in the middle of making his own dreams come true. Michael thanked me for writing, but the truth is, I need to thank him for taking me seriously and trusting me with the product of his own blood, sweat, and tears. That, my friends, is anything but a joke.

-R

2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees

Well, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees are out, and you-know-who was notoriously left off the list. Again.

I’ve learned never to assume anything when it comes to writing this blog, but I have to think that many fans, but perhaps not all, would have liked seeing them included on the list of nominees. Am I right, or no? On the other hand, Duran Duran (notably Simon and John) have openly said during interviews that it’s a non-issue for them. They don’t care. They see it (the Hall of Fame) as a political vehicle and therefore it’s not worth their time. Whether or not this is truth or a carefully worded reply meant to hide disappointment, I can’t say.

Even so, there are groups of fans out there that try to rally support for their inclusion each year. In the past, we (Daily Duranie) have stayed out of the argument beyond echoing what the band has openly said themselves. It caused a few people, including those petitioning to have the band included, to block and unfriend us. Our official position was simple – if the band didn’t even want it, we felt like we shouldn’t push it. Some didn’t like that, and I can understand and accept their fury. I also need to call out what I see as industry-driven BS, as you’ll read below.

Before I go any further, here’s the list of 19 nominees for 2018:

Bon Jovi

Depeche Mode

Dire Straits

Eurythmics

J. Geils Band

Judas Priest

Kate Bush

Link Wray

LL Cool J

MC5

Moody Blues

Nina Simone

Radiohead

Rage Against the Machine

Rufus feat. Chaka Khan

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

The Cars

The Meters

The Zombies

The very idea that Duran Duran continues to be omitted from the list of nominees each year is gross. We’re not talking about a band that never graced a top ten list, or never did much beyond release a few unknown albums. At one point, Duran Duran was the biggest band in the world. They are video vanguards, lifetime achievers, and continue to influence younger generations of musicians and performers. They didn’t just embody the style of 1980 and beyond…they created and drove it.  They’re still creating, nearly 40 years later.

Yet with each passing year, they’re not even given a mention beyond a couple of tweets from well-meaning fans. Not only is the Hall of Fame dismissing the band and their career, but they are also smugly discounting the thousands of fans who have stood by them for the last four decades. The old men might not get it, but the little girls completely understand, and always have.

Last weekend, I finally sat down and watched the induction ceremony for 2017. Yes, I’m behind. The one thing I saw over and over was how the bands thanked their fans for getting them there. Of course I liked seeing that, and it was touching that when it came down to it for the bands being inducted, their fans mattered. I thought about all of the history I’ve read about Duran Duran.  Disparaging comments about the band’s fan base aren’t hard to find. The critics hated that little girls loved this band. As far as critics were concerned, the reason to hate this band was purely because little girls (who are now grown women) loved them. That one highlighted detail created a situation where Duran’s music was never quite taken seriously. Why would it? Girls liked them, they couldn’t possibly understand what good music is about, and therefore the band were pin-up material. Period.

Amanda and I haven’t just seen this written once or twice in books. It has been discussed in every piece of comprehensive band history we’ve ever read, watched, or heard.

Simon addressed this general topic in an interview done just before they appeared on Jimmy Kimmel in 2015. He commented about the critics and their hatred for them and their fans. He believes much of that comes down to jealousy, and that may very well be true. He also commented that much to the chagrin of the critics—many of whom are not still writing or in the industry—the fans of the band, and the band themselves, are still around today. In many aspects, that alone is the best revenge. But is it enough?

I’m not so sure.

Sexism, my friends, is alive and well in the music industry, whether  the performers themselves, the business-side, or the fans. Look at the list of nominees again. Do you see many bands up there that have a predominantly female fan base? I can see a few that might have a sizable percentage of female fans, but none of them to the extent of Duran’s. None. Why is that?

The very idea that a sizable number of Duran’s fan base are women drives people crazy. Even the band tries to even it out in interviews by mentioning the growing number of men in their live audiences. People try to attribute our (female) presence to be about anything but the music. I’ve seen the very words “What would girls know about music?” in print more times than I can count.

Really?

I have heard similar anecdotes from female fans all over, whether they’re a blogger like me, your average concert-goer, or a radio show host. Sexism is everywhere. If you’re a woman, you couldn’t possibly know anything about the band you admire beyond their looks, and the only reason for being a fan is to fulfill that one-night stand fantasy. You know, the one we’ve all secretly held for nearly 40 years now?  The assertion that we’re all fans because we’re still waiting for our one nighter with Simon, John, Nick and/or Roger is pretty astounding.

(Call me crazy, but the last thing I’d fantasize about is going backstage and getting on my knees for a band member, only to be gracefully guided to the exit doors immediately following. Why on earth would I waste FORTY YEARS on that???)

Seriously, people of this world, THINK. We’re gonna have to try harder. It does not have to be like this. We have to be ready and willing to call the bullshit out when we see it and force change to happen, because it is obviously not going to happen on its own.

Now THAT is an effort I can get behind.

-R

Remember TOKiMONSTA? Here’s why she is a miracle.

I love the internet. I was set to write a simple blog about how two years ago, I was driving north on Interstate 5 in California, headed to Berkeley. Paper Gods was still new, the touring cycle had just begun, and I was freaking excited to be on the road. I knew what I was going to write, the words were readily available in my head, and then I opened my browser to get to Daily Duranie.

Lately, I’ve noticed Daily Duranie has been taking longer to load (on my laptop at home). This is not a site problem, it is a “my laptop is nearly eight years old now and that means it is a complete DINOSAUR” problem. Impatient as usual, I opened Tweetdeck to see if it load properly, which it did. I scanned my timeline and saw something that caught my eye, which led me to an article on Pitchfork about TOKiMONSTA.

For those who don’t recognize the name, TOKiMONSTA was the opening act who toured with Duran Duran last summer in the US. Her real name is Jennifer Lee. Amanda and I sat and watched her a few times at the shows we attended, and while her music is very different from Duran Duran, we liked it. I can remember one show where MNDR came out onstage and sang one of her songs, which I thought was really cool.  I didn’t mind sitting and listening when she came out on stage, and I can remember making a mental note to buy some of her music when I got home. I never did, mainly because life smacked me directly in the face once I got home last summer and I completely forgot about all else in the process. Sound familiar?

So what drove me to click on the Pitchfork article then? Well, it turns out that not long before she toured with Duran last year, Jennifer had brain surgery for a very rare brain disease called Moyamoya. After her surgery, she lost the abilities to walk and talk, and couldn’t even hear music (to her it sounded like noise). So the young woman I saw on stage last summer was a walking, talking, miracle of a DJ.

Somehow, reading the article made me think back on last summer a bit.

I remember how Amanda and I watched her last summer and agreed that she was very quiet. Her music was fine, but she just didn’t address the audience too much beyond that. Reading that article today reflected a completely different side to her sets that I didn’t know existed. Those shows were a triumph for her in every way, which in turn reminds me that we never know for sure what’s really going on backstage.  Amanda and I comment all the time that we fans tend to forget that John, Roger, Nick and Simon are human. They’re not circus animals, they’re people. Turns out, that sentiment might be widespread.

“I think people sometimes forget that artists are human. We all go through really terrible things and face hardships. Being able to play Coachella three months after having the surgery was very significant to me. If I can do something like this, anyone can.” – Jennifer Lee (TOKiMONSTA)

Lune Rouge, the soon-to-be-released third album by TOKiMONSTA, is filled with songs written after her recovery. It is one I am making a note to purchase.

-R

Hawaiian Sun, Sand, and Duran Duran

The band heads to Hawaii today, and in other news – I’m here doing laundry.

Yeah, I think maybe I should have rethought the whole “not going to be a rock star” thing when I was a kid.  Anybody else??  I know a few people who are going, and I’m going to openly say that I’ll be ignoring my social media for a few days because I am JEALOUS.  Granted, by Monday afternoon I will be floating on my Siesta Lounge (It looks like a big blow up sofa, which cracks me up) in gorgeous Lake Siskiyou…but that just doesn’t sound as lovely as sitting on a beach or by a pool in Hawaii, the perfume of plumeria thick in the air…and Duran Duran. Come ON now, there’s really no contest.

I remember when these dates came out, and I thought about Hawaii. Who wouldn’t? The thing is, I knew not to even think twice about that trip.  I didn’t think I had a single chance of getting it past Walt, and while I know many of you out there are like “My husband would NEVER tell me what I can or can’t do!” Mine can. Mine DOES, actually. And really, Hawaii is somewhere we go on vacation together.

And yeah, I suppose I could have played it off as “let’s go on vacation to Hawaii together, and then we can see Duran Duran!”, as if I was offering him the chance of a lifetime or something! Sure, I could have done that (I still don’t think he’d have bought it), but I’ve learned my lesson with taking the husband to a Duran gig.  DD is the backdrop to my girls’ weekends. Those weekends are my getaway, and mixing them with a husband is not a good plan. Besides, how am I supposed to scream for Dom with Walt around? Been there, done that, and got a lecture the entire…way…home… as a result. (as an aside, I never realized how far from downtown LA I lived, until that night…) No thank you.

So, I didn’t even try. I know to stick to places that Walt really doesn’t want to go. And that’s fine, because oddly – the cities I pick to see DD  are mostly all places that I do want to go.

That said, there’s a part of me that wishes I were packing for a few days of Hawaiian sun, plumeria and Duran Duran rather than two weeks of camping, mosquitos and campfires. Who wouldn’t?

Back to laundry.

-R

When you get that lonely shine in your eye

The other day, Amanda and I were on Skype. We were beginning work on a project and kicking around ideas when the topic turned to our upcoming road trip to San Francisco. We’re both really excited to have plans this summer, even if it’s only for a couple of shows. San Francisco is a city we’ve never been together while “touring”, and it will be great to see fellow Duranies, too.

That got us talking about our friends. Duranie friends, that is. We have a lot of people we know from the blog – people that we might not know well, but that have introduced themselves to us at various shows and things. We also have our core group of friends, which honestly, seems like it’s dwindled over the years. It is that group that I’ve been thinking about more recently.

When I first started out on the message boards, I stumbled upon a group of women that I became pretty attached to. Many of them were on the organizing committee for a convention that I was a part of, and a few others were involved on the board. (Amanda is one of those people, actually!)  They were what I like to call, my people. (We also called ourselves the Gutter Gals at one time, back about thirteen years ago!) I remember feeling like I needed to study up on Duran Duran because these women knew Duran Duran’s history like nobody’s business. I knew only what I’d read. These women had been to shows. Many of them. I think I’d been to about six at the time, and one of them was a festival. I knew next to nothing compared to most of them.

One of them had organized more than one convention, and seemed to know everyone, everywhere. When I looked at her (virtually, of course) and then looked at myself, I felt like I had absolutely nothing in common with her. She seemed hard-edged, and there I was—Miss OC Soccer Mom—trying my best to fit in. Another one was easily likable. She was popular on the boards, friendly to all, and everyone thought she was cool.  She could use humor to diffuse almost any situation, a tool she still uses to this day. I witnessed women tripping over themselves to befriend this person, and when she and I hit it off – calling one another the “other half of our brain”, I thought I’d made a friend for life. Yet, I was really nothing like her, either.  She was young, independent, single, a partier—and everyone loved her.  Still others were quieter, but they knew their Duran-stuff. They had history following the band, whereas I had spent the majority of my life prior on the outside looking in.

As many know, this group of women embraced me, for reasons I still don’t really quite understand. I never felt like I measured up. I don’t have tattoos or a number of piercings. I don’t know the band, haven’t had any body part signed by them, nor have I jumped the stage and been carried off by Dave. I look ridiculous in Doc Marten’s, and I look stupid with burgundy colored hair. The hardest-edged thing about me are probably the toe rings I wear in the summer – and yes, that’s a joke (although the toe rings are not). Rocker-girl or goth enthusiast, I am not. I’m more apt to wear pink than black on any given day. Oh, how I’ve wished I could be one of those women who can pull off black hair, black leather, etc. I’m just the opposite. I’m more like bubble gum, really. I suppose in many ways, it’s why I started this blog. I wanted to prove to myself that I could be like those women in one way or another. For once, I wanted to be on the inside and actually do something. But, as time has gone on, I’ve noticed that most of that original group of women are no longer around.

I probably can’t really call them close friends, anymore. It’s not that I don’t love them, or care about them, but they’ve moved on, and I really haven’t. The most I see or hear from them is on Facebook. They’ve got careers, lives, marriages, and they’ve kind of dropped Duran Duran along the way. I don’t know if the band got “old” (I don’t mean in age), or if they got tired of it all, or if the trend changed—and me being me—I missed my cue to leave and instead, I got more involved. Many of them complain about the band in one way or another, and yet I embrace them tighter. Maybe it’s me, really. (It is probably me.)

I haven’t seen many of them in years, now that I think about it. I don’t travel alone (meaning without the family) much unless it’s for Duran Duran. Then again, I can’t afford to fly these days anyway, so unless the band plays on the west coast (thankfully they are this summer) and I can drive there, I’m sort of stuck. The good news is I’m just about halfway through the whole “paying for two kids in college” thing, so I’m hoping it will get better from here. Point being, I don’t get out much, so I don’t see them often, if at all. Maybe that’s it. Or maybe it’s just that people drift apart, and we weren’t all meant to be friends forever.

The one thing I know for sure, is that without those women, I wouldn’t be writing. The only reason I ever started writing was because I missed being able to tear through album, song, video and show minutia. I loved talking about all of that “little” stuff. I liked examining the human condition and how news would affect the fan community as a group. I used to do that on the message boards, until there stopped being message boards. So, without those women, I don’t think I would have started this blog, and I don’t think I would have gone to the last thirty shows or so. I still love this band, for some crazy reason. I have a blast when I go to the shows. I have spoken to a few from that original group over the years, and the subject of meeting the band always comes up. They don’t understand why we continue to put in so much effort to be completely ignored by Duran Duran.

First of all, I haven’t been totally ignored, and Daily Duranie hasn’t been ignored. At least for me, it really has been about the expectations I had swirling in the back of my head from day one. This was never about being accepted by the band. I wanted to be accepted by my peers. There have been times when I’ve let the idea of acceptance by the band cloud my judgment, and the outcome has not been good. This is not about them. It’s about me. I wanted to prove I was more than just a housewife. More than just some nerdy kid than never quite grew up. More than solely a mom. I desperately wanted people to like me.

The irony that I have weeks like this, where I openly muse about friends I’ve lost along the way, isn’t lost on me. Speaking out has come to mean standing alone, sometimes. Even so, the nostalgia for that close group of friends I once had, and the journey I’ve been on since, is a little bittersweet.

I’m excited for my upcoming trip, and if you see Amanda and I at a table or at the bar—come say hello. We’d love to make a new friend or two along the way!

-R

A Special Tribute to Ann Le Bon

Some blogs are difficult to compose. Not because I don’t know what to write, or because I can’t think of what to say. Instead, they’re hard because I don’t know how to properly put something into words without sounding too familiar, or on the other hand, too much like a journalist. I’m neither, so….I’m going to try my best.

At some point this morning, DDHQ sent out a note from Simon letting fans know that Ann Le Bon, Simon’s mom, passed away in the night of the 19th of June.  The full note reads (copied and pasted from Duran Duran’s Facebook) as follows:

“Ann Marie Le Bon died willingly & peacefully in the night of June the 19th. She’s the person I’ve known the longest in my life.  We are all very sad.  But she has left us with overwhelming love, which she planted as seed in all of our hearts.”  

I did not ever have the good fortune to meet Ann in person, at least not that I am aware of. I don’t believe Amanda had either. Many of our readers have met her, some even having tea with her at one point or many over the years, and still others found themselves a pen pal in Ann.

As for Amanda and myself, well, we found a reader. Ann read our blog, at least often enough to decide to follow our page on Facebook. Both of us were dumbfounded—truly, we were speechless—the day that we received notification that she’d followed us. I won’t lie, at first I think both Amanda and I felt it might be a fake account, but after really looking at it, we were convinced it really was Simon’s mom, and yes, we were really pleased she thought enough of the blog to follow. Sometimes, not often but a few times over the years, she would post an encouraging comment to the page as well. I am sure she never knew how much we appreciated those, but as I move forward from this point, I’ll never forget her kindness. I’m sure many will point out that our blog was not the only fan page she followed, and that is exactly my point. She cared about the fans.

Ann was unique in that aspect, as Amanda and I have come to find over the years. She wasn’t afraid to open her heart (and home) to fans. Often times, all I need do is make mention that I write a fan blog to someone I’ve just met, whether they work in the industry or not, and I will get the side-eyed looks and stares that tell me I’ve already been labeled a freak. Family members of those in the industry tend to shield themselves from fans, much of the time—and granted—some of that (if not much of that) is out of necessity, but Ann did not operate that way. She loved us, cared about us, and to my knowledge, never mentioned that we fans were strange or odd because our fandom followed us through adulthood. I think she sensed how much we all cared about her son, which in some respects was the common bridge we shared.

As someone who has lost a parent, this is not a club anyone looks forward to joining. I think we all are cognizant on some level that our parents will not be with us on this planet forever, but however long we have them never seems quite long enough. As I said before, I didn’t know Ann personally, but it wasn’t difficult to see how much Simon adores his mum.

Grief is a weird thing. At first (at least for me, and everyone is different), the memories were almost painful. The last thing I wanted was to feel that sting and emptiness that thinking of my dad left me. As time has gone on though, I appreciate the fond memories I have of my dad. They give me comfort when I need, and sometimes—particularly when I am doing something I know he would “bust me” for doing—I can hear his voice booming in my head with a resounding, “Rhonda Lynn!!”

It makes me smile.

I hope the same for Simon and his family. My heart goes out to his entire family.

-R

Happy Birthday Dom!

Any day is a good day when I can wish one of my favorites a very happy birthday!  At 45, he’s still a kid compared to many…but we’ll let that go for now.

I’ve had a special affinity for Dom from almost the moment he started playing with Duran Duran. While it is absolutely true that I idolize Duran Duran – it is hard not to when they are the people in the posters I still have hung on my walls – Dom is a little different.  Let’s face it, for me, Roger Taylor is the fictional, “Knight in Shining Armor.” When I was young, I believed he could do no wrong. I suppose that at least to a certain extent, the same held true for the rest of the band.

After I grew up, my thoughts on that changed, at least somewhat. Even so, I still have their posters, and I think that I’m still a little starstruck. How could I not be? I still sometimes have to pinch myself when I’m at a concert, particularly when I’m near the front, to remind me that yes – this is all real.

Dom joined the band onstage after I was already an adult, and because I met him in person not long after, I don’t really idolize him. At least, not exactly in the same way….or so I keep telling myself.  I mean, there is still plenty of this atrocity going on:

I have to laugh.  I wore my Apple watch that night as a test because I wanted to see what the step meter would do at a concert. (It turns out that I get a week’s worth of steps in…) In other words, I am a total geek. Not that this picture proves otherwise, anyway.

Even though I scream at shows for him (obviously), he seems perfectly normal otherwise. (Yes, HE seems normal. Me? Read on)The thing is, I’ve met Dom before. He’s a nice guy. He’s even done a Q & A for this blog, and I lived to tell about it.

I remember when I emailed him to ask about doing the Q&A. I had to force myself to hit “send” and then nearly ran from the computer. It was a ridiculous display. Thankfully I was here at home and there is no video.

I was amazed by how quickly he responded.

Even so, I’m shy. Super shy.  Not sure if anybody is getting that…. One time, I was sitting at a sidewalk cafe table in Los Angeles at the Ace Hotel and he walked by, going into the hotel. I nearly choked. I didn’t say a single thing. I just watched him walk past. I felt paralyzed in my seat, very much the same way I used to feel when Ken Sears, the object of my middle school crush, would walk by the clarinet section on his way back to the drum section in band. I had it SO BAD for that guy. I think back on those awkward years (yes, years) and I cringe. It took me months to even work up the nerve to say hi to Ken, and by the time I finally got comfortable with him, he moved on to high school. I still had another year in middle school. It was horrible.

So there I was, in my forties and I still couldn’t speak, couldn’t say a thing when Dom walked past. I tweeted about it though…and I still laugh when I think of Amanda looking at me as though I’d grown a third head as I pointed out that Dom had just walked past. I think Amanda was ready to get out of her chair and go grab him herself, and I pleaded with her not to. Yet I tweeted him afterwards, and he responded – probably the only time he has ever responded to me, actually! Needless to say, I felt like an idiot and I’m sure he was amused that I even bothered to tell him how shy I was/am. Yep, I’m socially inept. Love to write, hate to speak in person.

Then there was the time, that same weekend, when I ran into him at a bar. I am pretty sure he went to hug me and I am also pretty sure I dodged it. I don’t even know why. I suppose at the time I was nervously trying to step out-of-the-way of people (it was crowded and that’s my excuse!), and I’m not really a hugger, or at least that’s what I’m going to keep telling myself.  I wanted to fall into a hole in the ground after that, so yay for me!

I did make up for my idiocy about three years later, when I saw him at Agua Caliente in March. I actually got up off of my bar stool and walked through a crowd of people to say hi to him, and I say “actually” because that is not typical “Rhonda” behavior. I’d cower in a corner and maybe wave, but no way would I risk actually walking. (I’m clumsy and always at risk of falling, so no.)

I did wave. Then before my brain registered, I’d gotten up off of my chair, walked over and waited for him to finish taking pictures. It was an out-of-body thing, I’m pretty certain. I remember saying to him that I wasn’t there for pictures and I didn’t want anything signed. I didn’t even get the full sentence out.

He is a good hugger.

Ken Sears would be proud. Don’t google him, though. He’s just some poor man who likely has nightmares about some frizzy haired girl with a clarinet following him in middle school. I should probably apologize to him.

Moving on…he’s a really nice guy. I still say the band is lucky to have him. He’s down to earth, has an incredible work ethic, and is extremely talented. I’ve met him several times now, and I can’t really say we’re friends, but we’re friendly (or else he’s just really nice about humoring me), and I’m glad he’s a part of this crazy family.

I doubt you’re actually reading, Dom – but if so, happy birthday!! I hope you have a fantastic birthday with your beautiful family. I’ll see you in a few weeks!!

-R