Tag Archives: fans

Today in Duran History – AOL & John Taylor

On today’s date in 1997, John Taylor held an AOL online chat.  Now, I am almost certain some of you readers had to have been present for that – so ‘fess up!

I can’t even imagine what that must have been like, both for John as well as the fans. I know from speaking with Patty Palazzo that at the time, John utilized a “grass roots” marketing approach to his solo career, which really worked. He connected with fans and used basic word of mouth to market himself – and while it’s true that a good many fans never bothered to expose themselves to his work, I’ve YET to run across a fan who was truly a part of that moment (going to shows, taking part on Trust the Process, and maybe even meeting John himself) that doesn’t look back on that time with extreme fondness.  Maybe it really isn’t just about the music.  Imagine that.

-R

Today in Duran History – Nagoya, Japan

On today’s date in 2003, Duran Duran played at Century Hall in Nagoya, Japan.  Fans will remember that these shows in Japan were the first shows of the band’s reunion, and this show at Century Hall was #3. Many fans and Duranies traveled from all over the world, including the US, to go to see these first shows with the Fab Five back together again.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any clips from this particular show (plenty from Budokan, though, which leads me to believe that: A. they were able to get cameras into the Budokan but not others. or B. They had finally recovered their senses enough from seeing the other shows that they could take video of this one!!)…but I do have the set list!

Friends of Mine
Hungry Like the Wolf
Planet Earth
Come Undone
What Happens Tomorrow
New Religion
Virus
White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It)
(Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel cover)
Night Boat
Still Breathing
Is There Something I Should Know?
Save a Prayer
Ordinary World
A View to a Kill
(Reach Up for the) Sunrise
Notorious
The Wild Boys
Careless Memories
The Reflex

Encore:
Girls on Film
Rio

Today in Duran History – Mexico

On this date in 1993, Duran Duran played at the Plaza Monumental in Monterey, Mexico.  This date was included in the No Ordinary World tour during the summer months of 1993.

I was looking at the dates they played in 1993, and aside from a couple of very short breaks along with some dates that had been cancelled/rescheduled/etc from mid-September to mid-November of that year, the band went non-stop, beginning in February of 1993 in Ontario, Canada (One of their acoustic shows dubbed “An Acoustical Evening with Duran Duran) and ending in April of 1994 in the Dominican Republic.  When you sit back and look at it, that is a LOT of shows. Granted, it’s the life they chose, but wow. I’d be tired too. The traveling is rough on your body. This is why I’m still a big proponent of doing residencies, primarily as a way to solve the problems with touring the entire US. Pick a few major cities, do several shows within each city and make the fans do the traveling. I think a lot of fans would applaud such a plan (this fan included).  I’d love the chance to go see the band and spend actual time in a new city with friends…wouldn’t you??

Also, we would be remiss if we didn’t send happy birthday wishes to Julian Taylor (Roger and Gisella’s son) who will be celebrating his 3rd birthday today!  I remember having a 3 year old…. they’re fun at 3.  Active. Very, VERY active.  🙂

-R

 

The Chauffeur – Covers!

This week, I decided to go for another often covered song from Duran’s catalog – The Chauffeur.  If you haven’t checked out Warpaint’s cover from the Manimal-curated soon-to-be-released album titled Making Patterns Rhyme yet, go here!

The Chauffeur is obviously a fan favorite, and as such, I think it’s tough for fans to find a cover of this that they really can approve of. Again, I still think it has everything to do with some misaligned band loyalty than it does the songs themselves, so I’m going to keep working at this until we find songs that people like!  Expose your ears to something new – it’s good for you, it’s good for your brain, and it’s good for your spirit! (Really, there was a recent study done that concluded hearing new music is really good for your brain – it helps your brain stay young. We all need that!!)

Just as I did last week, I went to YouTube to find some covers. Some are well-recognized, others are more obscure.  Take a listen and see what you think.  My short review is under each link!

The Chauffeur – Sneaker Pimps

This cover remains very faithful to the original, which leaves me wondering what else they could have done with it to make it their own.  There’s a lot of echo and reverb in parts of this, which makes the song feel dreamy and existential. Overall it’s a good, solid effort to pay homage to the original.

The Chauffeur – Deftones

This one draws me in immediately because I like the hard edge of the guitar.  The vocals are incredibly similar to Simon’s, and they have the same type of effect on them that the original has.  I do like the way they have turned up the guitar here, although I think it might have the tendency to drown out the vocals.

The Chauffeur – Velvet

I found this cover on YouTube and it was one I hadn’t heard before.  This one uses a slightly quicker tempo and synth loops that are a little more like bells than the original. It’s pretty faithful to the original in spirit, even though it does not use the same musical arrangement and feels a little “thin” until 2/3 of the way through the song when the drums pick up.

The Chauffeur – Cashmir

This is a Finnish band and the cover is ever-so-slightly different in parts. The vocals are drawn out (and changed) in parts, and the music really worried me at first because I couldn’t tell where they were really headed musically, and that goes on throughout the song in between verses. It goes from being very faithful (albeit they use a much fuller musical arrangement that sort of topples over into “soft rock”) to being something, well…we’ll just say very different.  The things they change are very creative, even though I really don’t think they work for the song.  The music changes the spirit of the song, and if nothing else, it’s very interesting to hear how changing the arrangement as well as a few lines of vocals and how they are sung really makes the song reflect differently on the listener.

The Chauffeur – Marco Morgan Castoldi

I’d be into this more if I didn’t hear his mistakes…but this is live, and I’ll give the guy credit for playing it at all.  Other than that, the cover is very faithful to the original, although it’s done on piano and I especially like what he did with the mid-section.

The Chauffeur – Forgotten Toys

I was underwhelmed with this local Chicago band’s version until they got to the mid-section where they dared to turn up the guitar and let her go.  The tempo is upbeat (I think it should not have been because it loses effect that way), but the guitar adds a really nice texture to the smoothness of the vocals.  For the guitar solo, they dared to go on step further and blend a bit from Kashmir by Led Zeppelin into the song. Surprisingly, it’s kind of cool and works with this harder-edged cover.

The Chauffeur – A Toys Orchestra

I can’t say I love this one. It takes forever to get going and once it does – you’d think you were in the races to the finish.  They speed this up way fast, and it loses the original effect with nothing done to try and change the song.  Then they put this electronica section in after the first chorus. I applaud their effort, but it’s not a favorite.

The Chauffeur – Iraina Mancini

I am happy to include one version by a female. I have to say though, that for me – while this cover is beautiful and it’s clear she is a well-trained vocalist, I think it loses something (for me) when sung by a female.  It’s otherwise very similar to the original with nothing really changed, but somehow just having a woman sing turns the whole song completely on it’s head and makes it something completely different.

There’s eight versions for you.  Truthfully, none of them really push the envelope and stray too far from the original…but that’s OK.  Check them out, see what you think – comment back with your favorite, or if you’ve got others for me to post I’m happy to do that too!

-R

 

 

 

Today in Duran History – Top of the Pops

On today’s date in 1982, Duran Duran performed Hungry Like the Wolf on Top of the Pops.

On another note…on today’s date in 2007, I was getting ready to go to the fan show at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.  It was one of the nicer VIP parties I’d been to…but I did not care for my “VIP” seat in the balcony.  I literally sat across from the sound board (which was really interesting – I’ll give them that), but those seats were much too far from the stage to really feel VIP.  I felt incredibly removed from the show, not to mention that the show itself was not one of the best I’d ever attended.

Maybe VIP really isn’t “VIP” at all.   Hmm..

-R

Today in Duran History – Boca Raton, FL

On today’s date in 2008, Duran Duran played at the Mizner Park Amphitheater in Boca Raton, FL.

I decided that since this show was relatively recent (as opposed to say, back in the early 80s), I would attempt to find the set list.  Well, I did one better.  I found a review of the show AND the set list, which you can read for yourself here.   Happy reading!

Let me know what you think of the review, especially if you were there that night. Drop us a line in our comments below!

-R

Love Never Felt so Good – Jackson/Timberlake

It’s rare that I discuss other bands or artists here on the blog, but I kind of thought this deserved special mention.

Have you heard the new Michael Jackson song that features Justin Timberlake…and more importantly, have you seen the video?  It’s all over Twitter this morning, and so I decided to take a peek.

I heard the song itself on Monday night when it was used on Dancing with the Stars – not a show I normally watch, but I was flipping channels and caught it.  I have to say that I like the song. It reminds me very much of Michael’s older work.  I hear a lot of “Rock with You” in there, and I really like that. I have no doubt that the song, the album, and just about anything else they can squeeze the life out of will be exploited well beyond reason, which makes me incredibly sad, but the song is good. It’s Michael….and oh yes, it features Justin too.

I watched the video this morning. Granted, I’m not a Justin fan and I really don’t get his part in the video. Yes, I know he sings on the song, but for me even that seems to be a carefully placed afterthought. That doesn’t mean I don’t think he does a good job, because he does. (It’s his type of music and he performs extremely well. It’s not like he’s actually trying to sing on a Duran Duran song or something!  Oh wait…) I just think his part wasn’t necessary.  (Please see the above comment about exploitation.)  However, that wasn’t what really set me off this morning to write this blog.

As I watched the videos, I must admit that at several points I found myself watching the clips of his old videos and feeling pretty melancholy. I wasn’t ever a huge Michael Jackson fan. My sister might even say that I couldn’t stand him. That’s not exactly true, I was just sick to death of hearing about him during a time when I felt that Duran Duran ruled the world…but that’s OK. I was young and didn’t quite get it, I suppose.

I don’t think you can really be a music fan or a fan of the American Dance movement and not see the genius that took place every time Michael performed. Overexploited? Yes. Without a doubt…but still brilliant in every single way. As my daughter Heather’s dance instructors have always told her since the very day Michael passed – when you watch Michael Jackson, you are seeing the same moves we use today, and he was the reason we do them.  Musically, Michael is *the* reason people like Justin Timberlake got into music – you can hear that influence consistently in his work.  So while I may not pay homage to the man in the same way I do Duran Duran, I have great respect for his music and talent.

So, getting back to that video – as I watched, it felt just a little creepy to me. I couldn’t decide if I was disgusted that once again Michael continues to be exploited even after his death, or that I was annoyed Justin Timberlake needed to take center stage…or that it was all just way too soon.  In some ways, I suspect the latter.  Michael died on June 25, 2009 (I googled it – no, I don’t just have these things in my head!), and while it has been nearly five years, I found that watching other very talented dancers doing his moves while his own videos played in the background just a little…well…sad.

I think to Duran Duran.  How would I feel if it were them? I don’t even like to think about that.  But truly? How would I feel if a label took their most iconic videos, like Rio or Hungry Like the Wolf put them together while someone like Justin – who claims to be just as influenced by DD as Michael (I really don’t buy that, by the way) did a duet with Simon…and not only Simon, but Simon post-mortem?  Granted, Simon’s not a big dancer (unless you’re counting that chicken dance….hey…did you know it’s National Chicken Dance day??), but even so…a label will do whatever they need to do to milk the last bit of life out of something.  If THAT doesn’t give you the shivers on this Wednesday, nothing will.  But really, how would YOU feel?

I’d hate it. With a passion. I’m not really sure five years could make that work for me, either.

So to recap: Yes on the song…and a very sad no on the video.

-R

 

 

 

 

Maybe you think you’re above it

Why on earth would a fan think it was a good idea to circumvent security, climb up on stage and rush the band?

Last night there was a Morrissey show in San Jose, California.  I had a couple friends at the show. They were excited because previous attempts to see Morrissey (for them) had been thwarted by the dates being cancelled at the last minute.  There was joking (well, on my part anyway) throughout the day about whether he’d actually do the show…because you just never know when it’s Morrissey. (not even going to look your way right now, Duran Duran…)  But by dinner time last night, it looked like yes, it was going to happen.  My friends were excited, and while I’m really not a Morrissey fan, I was excited for them to finally get their show.

Fast forward to this morning, when I see that one of them posted that their show was cut 2 or 3 songs short because of a few absolute MORONS who thought they had the right, above everyone else present, to get up on stage, rush Morrissey and get their hugs in.  The band stopped playing, and the show was over.  Thankfully, I hear that this was during the encore and at the very least – the audience was able to see most of the scheduled show.

I’ve been to two Duran Duran shows where someone thought they deserved an up-close and personal shot at a hug from Simon.  Somehow they managed to get up on stage, and the first time – Dave pretty much bear hugged the girl and took her offstage. The second, Simon sidestepped what he saw coming out of the corner of his eye and once again – trusty Dave grabbed the girl and took her off.

As I’ve sat and thought about people rushing the stage that way before…two main thoughts go through my head. The first being: why would someone really think that getting up on stage with the band would EVER go well?  At the very least it has the potential to ruin the show, appearance, etc. for everyone else, not to mention that it puts the band at risk.  Why wouldn’t that be enough to deter someone?? That’s when I start considering the other sorts of “bad fan behavior” I’ve seen over the years.  “Rules” such as no getting up on stage to grab the band, and not trying to talk your way backstage or into the studio, or any multitude of other “unwritten” rules…are simply that. Unwritten.  People (like me) just assume those kinds of things aren’t cool to do, and so they (I) don’t attempt them. I don’t follow the band home. I don’t try to sneak my way into places I’m pretty sure I’m not supposed to be.  However, there are plenty of other people out there that just assume those “rules” (because dammit – they’re unwritten anyway, and why should we assume they’re really rules?!?) are for other people. They’re not going to let silly ideas such as the thought of being the cause of a show ending early because they got up on the stage ruin their fun.  So what if it seems weird to thousands of other people that they followed a band member home – all they’re asking for is five minutes, right? The trouble is, and this is key: that behavior is typically rewarded.  Maybe that fan who climbed up on stage gets to go backstage. That fan who followed someone home got to speak with the band member….and maybe even got a photo. The point being, while you and I are standing in line at a meet and greet…or just following whatever rules were put in place for whatever function we’re talking about, someone else didn’t bother with those rules.  They found them outside the venue and had five minutes of uninterrupted time and plenty of photos. (which probably weren’t allowed to be taken IN the venue, store, etc.)  They waited outside of the band’s hotel room even though other fans told them it wasn’t cool. They talked their way onto a tour bus, they made friendly with bouncers to get backstage…or any multitude of other things to get what they want. It always happens, and more often than not I’m either annoyed that fans get away with that sort of thing or I’m kicking myself for not doing them myself. Things that you and I might think are the “wrong way” to do things aren’t an issue for someone else, and typically the band (and by “The” Band, I really mean ANY band, but especially this one) rewards that behavior.

Why? Well, I have to assume that for the band – THIS band – any fan is a good fan. They’ve been around a long time now. There’s not so many of us still standing on our feet. Yet, they need and crave that attention we readily give. Yes, I’m saying the band is slightly narcissistic, and I’m sure they’d agree. There certainly is something to be said for being on stage and having people scream for you night after night. Thirty years later and it’s still happening? Oh, you betcha…and so when they go without, they crave that adoring attention, and their egos love the extra boost. So if fans are going to break the “rules” to get to them, the band can’t help but smile. They love it even if it pisses off those of us who have been politely waiting our turn. Our loss, right? You snooze, you lose.

And that’s why it keeps happening, even though typically – it ruins it for everyone else.  But who cares about that really?  I mean, it’s all about ourselves, right?

-R

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Today in Duran History – Argentina

On today’s date just a mere two years ago, Duran Duran played at Luna Park in Argentina.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but even though I know this was just two years ago at this point – it seems like so long ago now.  While I might be ready to consider the idea of going to some shows again, I suspect that the band has other plans given that there’s no end date in sight for the new album to be released…may as well get comfortable in those easy-chairs, I suppose!  🙂

-R