Tag Archives: Guest Blog

Guest Blog: Wishful Thinking

Duran Duran’s design team has been working overtime this summer! There have been a plethora of new products released in the last six months. I recently purchased a package that included apuzzle. What will I do with said puzzle? I will probably put it in storage; I bought it because it exists. This creative product surge reminds me of the 1984 era when you could find Duran Duran memorabilia almost anywhere. My late father once admitted that he bought me a Duran poster from an airport lounge while traveling home. So now I’m thinking about other products that I’d like to see officially released.

Magnetic Car Bumper decal

The paper, plastic car bumper decals were extremely popular in 1983. Some featured the band’s photo and others just the logo. However, these decals were semi-permanent. I’ve seen Dave Matthews band decals in my workplace parking lot so why shouldn’t I represent our band?

Travel mugs

There are several ceramic mugs featured in the website now. I drink copious amounts of hot tea and coffee so these mugs require more refills. They also have the potential to shatter. I’d welcome 2 varieties of a plastic travel mug. I’d appreciate the portability and they would be
conversation pieces as I’m on the go.

Plastic Water Bottle

I struggle with drinking the daily recommended water intake. Water tastes so bland. Water also creates more frequent restroom breaks. Yet, perhaps having one of the band’s classic logos on a tumbler would inspire me to hydrate more frequently. I’d even buy one of the squat water bottles with the lines denoting how much water I’ve ingested. Can you image if they put they printed current and past band member names on the water lines? There could be John, Nick, Roger, Simon, Andy, Warren, Sterling and Dom lines. Hilarious!


The RCM era spawned a keychain. I declined because I didn’t want to explain a knife through a heart keychain to my mechanic. I did repurpose one of the chucky plastic keychains with a band photo for my first car. Unfortunately, the chunky plastic covers split over time. We are due for an elegant double D keychain. Maybe it could be free on webstore if you purchase a certain amount. The keychain could also be used to hang off of your rearview mirror like the fuzzy dice of the 1970s.

Temporary Tattoos

I work with small children and they LOVE temporary tattoos. I make sure to admire them whenever possible. Some brave fans have Duran inspired tattoos. As a tattooed fan, I’m considering the possibility. I can see fans sporting these at concerts.


I have the puffy stickers somewhere in storage. I smile whenever I see them on resale websites. I’m writing in Bujo journals and planners more which requires stickers. It would be nice to have a set of individual band member stickers or various band logo stickers. Etsy might be the best
vehicle for this item because it wouldn’t be cost productive to import from the UK.


As a Duran fan, I have a fondness for the classic, white Keds type shoe. They remind me of the white, bowler shoes that Roger and Nick (filthily) wore on the epic Rolling Stone magazine cover. A pair of shoelaces with the band’s logo would “jazz up” a pair of ordinary kicks.

Double DVD/Blu Ray box set of all the band’s videos and documentaries

I know we can view any video on the Internet now. I’m frustrated that I have some videos on VHS, DVD or some not at all. It would be nice to have them as a set. I have most of the documentaries but some are connected to specific concerts. Again, it would be nice to have them
in one set. If I’m being greedy, I’d ask for any unreleased footage as well. The band could fundraise by releasing a limited amount of autographed video box sets to fan club members for an exorbitant price. Yes, I’m dreaming now.

Thanks for reading my fantasy items. I acknowledge that the Duran Duran has released some items as part of VIP packages. I’ve seen others unofficially produced on the artisan websites. We are the fan base that bought the Arena board game, so why not dream of future products? What items would you like to see released?

Only in My Dreams,

Guest Blog: Hope in the Middle of It

By Nat Mingo

A plethora of events inspired this blog. We’re in the middle of summer. My days are filled with reading, Momma supporting, house cleaning, and ice cream/coffee jaunts. This is not how I envisioned this summer. Duran Duran very recently celebrated the 40 th anniversary of their first concert. I didn’t think we’d have a new album because of Duran time. But I did anticipate some summer, outdoor concerts. I even dared to blow the
dust off of my passport and consider attending the celebratory, London summer show with Nile. I imagined myself surrounded by sweaty, screaming, fellow music fans as we sang and danced. Alas, here we are. No concerts or new DD music are present (yet!).

Like so many of you, I’m making the best of this unique time. I finally joined Spotify; I am enjoying rediscovering some old tunes. My 70s self is embracing Toto, Journey, and Donna Summers music. My inner Rock Chick was chagrined that I forgot Bon Jovi made ‘Bad Medicine’. While I enjoy the endless variety of music, I’m not in love with the sound quality. Vinyl records were my first music vehicles. They have a warmth that Spotify can’t replicate. It could be due to the downloaded source material and/or my technology. I’m convinced these tunes weren’t made to be listened to through a computer. Such music was made for listeners to drop the needle on the vinyl and auditorily savor.

This vinyl adoration led me to my first Duran Duran LP encounter. I was ten years old and had saved my allowance to buy “Seven and the Ragged Tiger”. My Mom purchased the album for me from our local shopping mall. I remember her triumphantly brandishing the album and exclaiming, “Lucky you! It was on sale.” Sure enough, there was a bright neon sticker in the corner announcing its sale price. I shooed her out of
my bedroom, peeled away the plastic covering and went to my younger sister’s record player. My cool, high school attending older sister had her own room AND her own stereo. I shared a room with a toddler who had
her own plastic, Fisher-Price record player. Such is the life of a middle child. I sat cross legged on the floor and dropped the needle on the original version of ‘The Reflex’ (shudder). “This doesn’t sound like the music video!” my brain wailed. Fortunately, the next track, ‘New Moon on Monday’ gave me comfort. I played that record until dinnertime as the sun set. I was hooked!

Recently, the Daily Duranie has resurrected a 30 day challenge. Each day, a question is posed for fans to answer. I’m relishing the various responses; we all have our preferences. You will find one person who adores a song in the same thread as another who trashes it. May I confess that I’m struggling to participate in the challenge every day? I judge myself because a sliver of my identity is rooted in Duran Duran music. I have all the albums (some in multiple formats), attend as many concerts as I can, and digitally buy band paraphernalia so why can’t I think of a least favorite lyric?

As a result, I’m challenging myself to revisit Duran Duran’s catalog. I let iTunes randomly select Duran songs as I drive or attend to chores. I’ve rediscovered the hidden songs. These songs weren’t selected as a single or had a music video. Yet, they are the gems in between the singles. They add to the album’s overall mood. I created a summer playlist of my “ordinary” favorites. For brevity’s sake, I could only select 2 songs per album.

They are:

Only in Dreams
The Universe Alone
The Man Who Stole A Leopard
Too Bad You’re So Beautiful
The Valley
One of Those Days
Playing With Uranium
Last Day on Earth
Big Bang Generation
So Long Suicide
Read My Lips
Breath After Breath
Sin of the City
Lay Lady Lay
I Wanna Take You Higher Again
Drug (It’s Just a State of Mind)
Hold Me
Shadows on Your Side
The Seventh Stranger
Hold Back the Rain
Last Chance on the Stairway
Friends of Mine
Anyone Out There

So, I learned that I like dreamy songs, and songs with strong bass lines and/or synths. I’m extending grace towards myself because this is part of being a fan of a band with a large music catalog. I appreciate fan blogs,
Google and YouTube to help me remember all the singles, videos and band trivia. I participate in challenges as I can. I cherish memories of album liners, flipping an album over to the B side, and needle scratches/crackles. I also hope you remember to appreciate your first Duran song, album, video, concert, etc. as we navigate this summer.

In Pop Perfection,

P.S. Someone should create a mug or shirt that says, “Needs More Synth”. I’d buy it.

Guest Blog: An Ode to the Band Shirt

Several fans have begun to decrease their Duran memorabilia collections. I am the fan that lurks on resale websites hoping to snare a vintage item. As I search, it fascinates me to see what people collect. Some people collected buttons. Some fans saved complete sets of the trading cards and the puffy stickers. Many fans still covet vinyl. I collect band t-shirts. Today, as I began my morning routine of daily outfit selection, my eyes stumbled across my large Duran shirt collection. Words began to swirl in my mind about why I adore buying
Duran Duran shirts. “You should blog about this,” my Sprit whispered. So here we go!

Band Image

The vast majority of my shirts feature an image of the band. I always buy one of these shirts at concerts. I think prefer these shirts because they represent the first shirts I bought as a girl. It may have grown into a persistent habit over time. I was that fan who adorned my section of my shared bedroom with multiple Duran posters. These shirts stimulate the visual side of my brain. However, as an amply endowed Black woman, when I wear these shirts publicly now, I do attract a lot of attention. “Just doing personal band promotion”, I tell myself as observers stare. The best designs have a full sized band image. The shirts with a smaller Duran image near the neckline don’t flatter all body shapes. I tend to wear band photo shirts in my private moments. Roger via a shirt is no stranger to my nightcapped-self brushing my teeth. I sport John shirts when I feel beautiful. The band via a shirt has accompanied me begrudgingly tending in my simple garden. This is my favorite shirt to purchase.

Band Logo/Album Art

I also enjoy the shirts that feature band logos or homages to a specific album. I’ve seen some fantastic album art choices within the band’s official webstore. The brown matador shirt from My Own Way vinyl, the Reflex abstract symbol shirt, and the funny shaped Notorious figure shirt are on my bucket list (see the Vintage & Archived sections of the band’s webstore). I often buy album art shirts at concerts because they serve as a memento. When I wear them, I’m reminded of my favorite album songs or concerts I choose to attend. The band has issued some logo shirts as part of their VIP packages. I prefer to wear all of these logo/art shirts
publicly. These shirts have tremendous versatility. I can wear them in casual and business casual settings. They are great conversation pieces. I’ve also have some fun, spontaneous conversations with strangers who recognize the band’s logo. Once, strangers frowned at a young cashier and I who were chatting about my band shirt in a long grocery store line. Sorry, Not Sorry!

Color Palette

White, black and red seem to be the dominant color schemes of Duran shirts. I have no green or purple shirts. I have one pink shirt with the traditional British lion Double D logo; I regret that I didn’t buy the mint green version as well. There are a couple of blue shirts circa the reunion/Astronaut era. The red shirts are far fewer than their black and white apparel contemporaries. My least favorite band shirt is a red one. It is a red, Red Carpet Massacre shirt featuring the band. The red and black tones muddy the band’s image. Since then, my rule is “Be Resolute, Life is too short for shirts that aren’t Cute.” At first glance, the plethora of black or white shirts seem redundant but I’ve changed mind on this issue. The band made their most colorful, white shirts during the Wedding album era. These shirts mirror the bright colors of the Ellen von Unwerth/Nick Egan era. Black and white are blank canvases so the band can add any details at their discretion. Now, I’m at peace with the plain
background color options that comprise the bulk of my shirt collection.

Material, Cut & Size

I tend to purchase the men’s fit or traditional shirts. They just have more room. If a shirt is too boxy/square, then I add a belt or tuck them into my pants. I have purchased some girl’s cut shirts. These shirts are cut to flatter a curvy shape. For some reason, I find that the ladies fit shirts are made of a more sheer material. So I tend to accessorize more with a jacket, long necklace or whatever to accommodate the thinner material. I didn’t purchase some of the Paper Gods shirts with the individual icons (lips, rocket, phone) due to the thin material. I highly recommend holding up shirts to yourself when buying at concert kiosks. The wrong size can be devastating! I have a few shirts that I have outgrown due to my age or gasp my robust eating habits. I have a few shirts that are too large for me; these shirts make great travel pajamas. Someday, I hope to take the
small/big shirts and get a quilt made of them. That’s a thing, right?


Yes, I have a “wish” list of vintage Duran Duran shirts. I would love to have a complete set of the individual band members from the Scavullo photo sessions. I therefore scooped up all of the individual band member
shirts circa the All You Need Is Now cycle. I need to replace some white band shirts due poor laundry habits (too yellow now) or due to sigh barbeque sauce/red fruit juice and white band shirt encounters. Yes, I wash my band shirts separately with whitening detergent on the delicate cycle now. I’m continually searching for larger replicas of the shirts I had as a girl. Alas, I wore my shirts until they were threadbare. I don’t have any of them anymore. I didn’t anticipate my fan longevity and save them for posterity. Yes, I peruse the band’s official webstore. My latest acquisitions are the white 2020 band image shirt and the white 2020 hat. I’m sure you are unsurprised with my choices given this blog. With all the current world events, a girl can still online shop!

I will end this blog with my pet peeve. I DETEST badly designed, bootleg merchandise. If you want a laugh, check out the popular auction websites. There are many hideous options. After all, laughter is good for the soul.


Guest Blog: A Deep Dive Into the Bass Odyssey

By Nat Mingo

I found myself smiling at the latest Stone Love Bass Odyssey announcement.  This small moment of joy surprised me so I pondered what I appreciate about John’s latest endeavor. Here is what I found.


The band’s official account and some related social media accounts are doing a great job of advance promoting John’s Stone Love Bass Odyssey episodes. The event becomes something to record in my planner. It reminds me of the days when I would patiently record band radio interviews on cassette or elbow my siblings aside to record the band on the family VHS. Friday Night Videos, anyone?


Only in Durandom would Stone Love Bass Odyssey make perfect sense!  I don’t quite understand it but I understand that this title must resonate with JT in some fashion.  I would welcome more elaboration through a Katy Kafe or any fan question opportunity.  Maybe it isn’t meant to be understood or, like other art, each person interprets it differently. SLBO also reminds me of Simon’s lyrics.  I don’t have a “favorite” lyric; I appreciate the unique moments as they come in songs. 


Stone Love Bass Odyssey (henceforth typed as SLBO for brevity) can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit & Instagram. Using multiple social media platforms allows more people to engage. Not everyone uses all these platforms so there’s something for everyone.  The multi-platform approach also helps me to become more tech savvy as I awkwardly navigate to each episode.  SLBO gives me a legitimate opportunity to connect to the tweens/teenagers in my life as I name drop platforms in our conversations. “That sounds cool. I’m on Instagram as well; my favorite musician posts there.” 


John records in his personal space.  John seems comfortable in his Studio- Man Cave- Office- Library.  My home office serves this purpose for me.  My space has Duran memorabilia, Funko Pops, books, my everyday music collection and professional items.  It’s pleasant to watch his PunkMaster garbed-self  speak passionately about Duran music in his own “safe” spot. Plus, I enjoy peeping at the random objects on his bookshelf. Is that a Grammy?


JT frequently introduces himself as “The Bass Man”. I hadn’t heard this nickname before.  Of course, we know that Simon is also Charley.  I wonder if this name was bestowed upon him or if John selected it for himself.  While its origin is unknown, John certainly embraces it as he proudly uses it in each episode. Perhaps this is a natural outcome when you formed a band with two other Taylors. 


I am an educator who can’t read music.  At the heart of teaching is the ability to make something understandable and relate able.  John demonstrates these traits superbly in each episode. He names specific chords and deconstructs his basslines.  Then he combines the elements while weaving them through the songs. I find myself learning something new in each episode.  I’m also isolating his bass notes in individual songs more. I wonder how his instruction is impacting the musician-fans. 

Post Interviews

John has a conversation with various guests after each episode. He has spoken to a diverse body of musicians. He started with a younger musician, Dave of Chromeo. He spoke with Suzanna Hoffs, a peer, who also made music with The Bangles during the 80’s. He spoke with Mark Ronson, who was a fan and produced Duran. John spoke with Nile this week. John has openly spoken of his admiration with Nile, a music veteran. The performance background of each guest colors the conversations nicely. John finds ways to connect with the audience and the guest simultaneously. 

Live Playing

John plays during his “lectures”.  The bass he plays has little impact on me. My limited musical ability means that I celebrate when I can see if he uses a pick or not. When John plays, it reminds me of how much I love live music. It also reminds me of the strong bass lines of the soul-funk-disco 70’s music of my youth. John often uses a drum machine that I have dubbed “Wall-E” to accompany him.  I wish Roger would ambush an episode to play together with John. In my opinion, John’s basslines are so much more robust live than on Duran’s albums. I’m always in the market for fan recorded shows and I’m open to discussing this topic over drinks with any interested fans at a future time. 

SLBO isn’t a substitution for a Duran Duran concert. But while we wait, I appreciate this deep dissection into their music. And…I have ammunition for any foolish mortal who tries to call Duran Duran a “boy band”. John’s musicianship is evident. 

Stay tuned!


DD Echoes in Halston

By Nat Mingo

This viral pandemic has caused me to spend more time at home. Regretfully, instead of reading more or starting a meditation habit, I’ve been streaming television shows and movies. I finished the Matrix film trilogy and one of these films makes a reference to Alice in Wonderland’s “going down the rabbit hole.” This is exactly how I feel after watching two back to back documentaries about fashion designer Halston. I first watched Ultrasuede made by the reality show star, Whitney Sudler-Smith (who strangely could dress as SLB for Halloween). Afterwards, I watched Halston made by Frederic Tcheng. My head was abuzz with Duran references post viewing.

Halston was popular in the 1970s. He was a frequent Studio 54 visitor alongside Liza Minelli and Andy Warhol. Of course, I thought of when the band met Warhol. Nile made a pleasant ‘Ultrasuede’ appearance as
he recounted the origin story of “Le Freak”. Chic has been invited to Studio 54 by Grace Jones but was refused entry, whereupon Nile & Bernard got drunk and sang angry lyrics which morphed into “Le Freak”. From Nile’s words, Grace sounds like an interesting character. This is certainly manifested in her appearance on “Election Day”. Watching clips of the Studio 54 revelers reminds me of Simon’s quote that “Duran is that band that makes you want to dance.” I’m also reminded of my joy at seeing John playing the keyboard on “Danceophobia” during the Paper Gods tour. In retrospect, “Danceophobia” does have that pseudo-electronic disco vibe. It’s certainly not a song to dwell on; it forces you into the present.

Halston frequently wore suits with clean lines. His models were multi-ethnic and wore bright colors. The Hungry Like The Wolf, Violence of Summer and Girl Panic babes are indicative of a Halston runway. The
band’s night photo featured on the Secret Oktober 12 inch record reflects Halston’s 80s aesthetic. The crispness of Halston’s personal appearance reminds me of the early Rio period. Part of the Rio video’s allure are the brightly colored suits the band wore. Duran created an iconic suit image on the cover of Notorious. The band also created a unique suit moment during the Red Carpet Massacre tour. Those suits were striped and paint smattered. In 2016, Duran sang at the reveal of a Mazda car; the promotional pictures featured the band in iconic suits. The ZZ Top “Sharp Dressed Man” lyrics reveal the timeless appeal of suited men. Duran has certainly capitalized on this trend.

Halston decorated his New York showrooms with heavy doses of black, white and red. The New York locale seems to be important to the band. John lived there during his “I Do What I Do” period. The band had their
only “Members Only” fan show at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC. Duran tends to use the red, black, and white palette as well. I thought John referenced this color trio during his college year. This trio is heavily
featured in the “My Own Way” and “The Reflex” videos. The band has revisited these three colors on their new items in the web shop. I desperately want the white 2020 baseball cap. It will be interesting to see if these colors appear on the upcoming album.

Unfortunately, Halston lost his rights to his company and name. At the time, he thought a commercial deal would enlarge his fashion impact. Duran doesn’t retain complete rights to their earliest music. I have mixed
emotions when I hear an early Duran song in a movie or a commercial. It’s great to hear a favorite song in an unexpected manner. It’s not so great to hear good music being used to hawk unrelated products. Fortunately, Duran has retained their rights to their contemporary music. I trust Mr. Rhodes will guard their music licenses accordingly.

I’m probably overthinking the Halston-Duran relationship. This is what happens when you’ve been inside for too long! Thank you for reading this mental “rabbit hole” blog. I hope you and yours are thriving indoors and out.


Guest Blog: Talk About…POP, POP, POP Figures

By Nat Mingo

November has been eventful already. The Midwest has plunged into its January temperatures and I am wearing my winter jacket a lot. I’ve got several work related projects to complete. I was really looking forward to the annual DD calendar launch, which frequently occurs at the end of November as well. Therefore, I was elated to hear an “official” announcement that the Funko POP Company is releasing a Duran Duran set. It’s two of my favorite things being combined into an awesome, new creation like Ben & Jerry’s
cookie dough ice cream or Starbucks holiday egg nog latte. Who doesn’t love a good mashup?

Some of you may be thinking, “What’s the big deal with these Funko POP figurines?” Please let me explain. My brother-in-law (BIL) introduced me to these toys. He has been collecting the POP figures for years. He even gifted his groomsmen with them. Now when I visit my sister and BIL, I have the opportunity to spend time with his massive collection. Part of the appeal is that the Funko Company has now obtained the licensing rights for many POP culture entities. I highly recommend watching the first half of the documentary, “Making Fun-the Story of Funko” to view the company’s origins. There are sport Funko POPs, movie Funko POPs, music Funko POPs, television Funko POPs. I recently saw that they have a new historical American moments Funko POPs (oh, be still, my history- loving heart). Thanks to BIL, I regularly traverse the toy aisles to view the latest figures. I spent a year, amassing the full Marvel Avengers figurines and several Star Wars “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” figures. I had the Avenger POPs in my classroom for a spell which delighted my students. But alas, the kids and I were distracted by these items and I brought them home. I have since vowedto limit my POP purchases to special purchases. The upcoming Duran Duran figures certainly qualify.

I’m excited about the Duran POPs because they are well designed. The Funko POP figurines have a distinctive style. Unfortunately, some figures look a little generic. The face doesn’t closely resemble the person so the clothing has to compensate. The facial shape is part of the product’s allure; you know a Funko POP when you
see one. When you examine the Duran figures, I LOVE that each band member is distinct. The hairstyles are the best I’ve seen on a Funko figure. You can almost imagine running your fingers through the hair of the John, Nick and Simon figures. The clothing choices are impeccable because they are so detailed. In real life, most of the band members are dark haired and dark eyed so a poorly designed POP would make the figures identical. This didn’t happen. Also, the poses are substantial. I have bought some female POP characters which had very narrow feet. The figures don’t stand up well. The Duran POPs look like they will be “standable”.

As mentioned earlier, part of the Funko POP’s appeal is nostalgia. The Duran set captured the early days of the band. This was a wise choice. The era of the band’s history does include Andy; I appreciate being able to purchase his POP toy. Andy played an important role in the band’s early career. When I saw the Duran figures, I immediately starting thinking about my Duran Duran artifacts from that period. Hopefully, if this set sells well, there is the potential for future Duran sets. My BIL bought my sister several versions of Michael Jackson
and Prince POPs. I would purchase a “Reflex” or “Save A Prayer” set of figures, a “Notorious” or “All You Need Is Now” set of figures or set based on the Scavullo posters from the Sing Blue Silver period. The possibilities are numerous.

I hope I’ve explained the Funko POP phenomenon appropriately. I suspect the Duran set will make it onto several people’s holiday wish lists. The Funko POPs are limited editions; they make so many figures now that once they are sold, they are gone. EBay is full of inflated, “retired” POPs. So let’s RUN and purchase the Duran Duran figures. They are scheduled to be released on December 15th . I’m already plotting where I will place these valuable items and perhaps I will blog on this topic again…


Nathalie is a daughter, sister, Auntie, educator, reader, dreamer, Christian, Midwestern, Sci-Fi & Superhero Nerdette  whose favorite band is Duran Duran. She owns multiple copies of most DD albums.  She collects band t-shirts and proudly wears them in her everyday life. 

Guest Blog: Warren vs. the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Debate

By Bart Van Bemmel

Let’s do a little experiment… 

Go get all your Duran records and sprawl  them out on the floor.  I know you’re ranking them  — it’s hard not to.  I do it too.  Maybe you’re one of those fans that doesn’t count anything that John Taylor didn’t play on, yet it was somehow okay if Roger and Andy didn’t.  Or, maybe that’s a whole other blog post.  But I can tell you’re already frustrated because your order may have changed since last week — mine does all the time.  Where to put All You Need is Now… This might take another glass of Malbec.  Okay, now I want you to grab Duran DuranRioSeven and the Ragged Tiger, and Astronaut.  Now, as for the rest — pretend they never existed.  POOF — gone!  Would you be okay with that?  This could very well mean that there goes the soundtrack of your life.  And there also goes Duran Duran’s career.  And with that folks, is my argument that WHEN Duran gets immortalized in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame that Warren Cuccurullo goes in with them.  I’m not sure my argument can be defeated.  Come at me.  I know, I know.  Duran isn’t even on the ballot yet, but one day they will be.  And with Duran’s 40th Anniversary coming up — we’re all crossing fingers.  But this issue for some reason has been eating at me for a while.  Warren better get the call.

The second British invasion may have been led by the original members of Duran in all those Sri Lanka videos that dominated MTV, but there’s no denying Warren Cuccurullo’s crucial and powerful impact on Duran’s career.  Through the highest of times to the leaner years, Warren Cuccurullo helped steer this mighty ship.  From his work on seven studio albums, countless hits, tours, MTV Unplugged, TV appearances, and more — his tenure in the band was much longer than Andy Taylor’s.  The band also produced more hits and released more singles during Warren’s Era.  However, this isn’t about Andy vs. Warren, this is about what’s right.  Cuccurullo helped successfully navigate the band through the Grunge Era undertow that killed countless bands of the 80’s.  It was Warren’s songwriting and producing that help resurrect the band to land them their biggest selling album and tour to date with The Wedding Album.  There’s a reason on their past Paper Gods Tour that several Wedding Album songs made it into the set: Ordinary WorldCome UndoneToo Much Information, and Love Voodoo (OW and Come Undone are always mainstays).  And so, we have reached my second argument in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame vs. Warren Cuccurullo debate.  Would Duran be here today — with their most recent album landing in the top ten on Billboard, without the hit song Ordinary World?  The answer is NO.  According to the band’s Songbook performance, even their record label was gun shy about spending money on the band at this point in their career until they heard this song.  As for the music video — it’s known as one of their most iconic to date.  I should probably also mention Ordinary World also won the prestigious Ivor Novello songwriting award.  Duran of course went on to have even more hits after this with Warren — not to mention the first band to ever release a digital downloadable single with Electric Barbarella.

Now it’s time to see the potential Rock and Roll Hall of Fame side of things. 

Duran Duran was known as the second coming of the Beatles — the Fab Five.  That means Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, Roger Taylor, John Taylor, and Andy Taylor.  All instant heart throbs, icons, and musical prodigies.  Sorry, but Warren Cuccurullo wasn’t in the band back then during that initial chaos and debauchery.  With one member you have to have the other.  Imagine if the Beatles replaced Ringo or George?  Wait — Duran are guilty as charged.  So let’s face it, people.  When we think of Duran — we think of them in those fancy suits on that sailboat singing Rio.  Or — that ginormous tidal wave crashing down over the audience in the Reflex video.  Plus, Warren was a glorified hired gun until he became an official member after the Big Thing Tour.  So, this means mega hits such as NotoriousSkin Trade, I Don’t Want Your Love, and All She Wants Is will not be credited to him.  You could say we can be naive to think he didn’t have a hand in the arrangements of these songs, but we’re checking the songwriting credits.  And not to stick the knife in deeper or anything, but even Funko is about to release toys of the original band.  Warren didn’t make the cut as a Pop figure.  So thank you Warren for your time, but this case is closed.  You’re not getting in to the Rock Hall.

If the Rock Hall doesn’t recognize Warren Cuccurullo’s tenure in Duran, then why did Vivian Campbell from Def Leppard also get inducted?  I mean no absolutely disrespect towards Viv or Lep (big fan over here), but his impact on that band was nowhere near what Warren’s was with Duran.  Leppard rarely even puts a Vivian Era song in their regular tours, whereas half of Duran’s set list is from the Warren Era.  Many haters disagreed with Viv getting in (for the record — I thought he more than deserved to be there).  And now throw in Pete Willis from Def Leppard.  He got in and only played on two and half of Leppard’s albums.  But the bottom line here is will the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recognize Warren Cuccurullo as a member of Duran Duran if and when they get inducted?  Jon Bon Jovi wrote a letter to the powers that be at the Rock Hall about the importance of Hugh McDonald that replaced Alec John Such on bass throughout Jovi’s entire career.  McDonald got in.  Will Simon, John, and Nick have to write their own letters?  Will they even want to is something else entirely.  Or maybe the Rock Hall will already consider Warren a lock.   Warren’s personal views on life and his choices off the stage have nothing to do with the music.  If we were to do this then most of the rock stars who have been inducted already shouldn’t be there.

And so, I will leave you with this.  I play in the touring Duran Duran tribute band — Wild Boys: The Duran Duran Experience.  I don’t play Andy or Warren, I portray Dom Brown on guitar.  We’re the only tribute that has the Dom role and we stand by it for countless reasons.  By presenting ourselves as the Duran of today means we can play their entire catalogue, as well as their continuing on-going legacy that they create (from Planet Earth to Pressure Off).  And I can tell you right now that if we didn’t include the countless Warren Era hits in our show then we would be fact checked and discredited as a Duran tribute in every shape and form.  To push this fact even further — our most requested song to play is Serious off Liberty.  So if we were to go back to our original experiment of throwing out the Warren Era records, I think I just proved my point again.

So where do you stand on this case?  Does Warren deserve to be in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Duran Duran?  I’m so looking forward to your thoughts in the comments!

For those who do not know Bart, here is his biography from the Wild Boys website!

Playing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on VH-1 is something an artist can only dream about. Well, that dream has already become a reality for former Dallas singer/songwriter Bart Van Bemmel. Bart’s song Something (Afterglow) took home first prize in the VH-1’s “Rock Across America” Songwriting Contestwhere he and his band got to share the stage with rock legend John Fogerty.  Soon Bart and his band would go on to work with Grammy nominated engineer/producer Chris Bell (Destiny’s Child, Fuel, Polyphonic Spree, Erykah Badu, Kenny Wayne Sheppard), Billboard Award-winner Redbeard (Nationally syndicated show In the Studio), and producer Alex Gerst (Ellie Goulding).  ​

But we have to go back to the beginning.  Once Bart saw Duran Duran’s video for PLANET EARTH on MTV – it would forever change his life. It was Duran’s New Romantic sound that made him want to start playing music. As he grew older – Bart meticulously studied Duran’s sonic rock and funk stylings as he did his best to nail their sounds. As luck would have it – just a few years ago, Duran Duran guitarist Dom Brown shared his guitar rig rundown with Bart to help assist him with his mission to conquer all things Duran. ​

By the time Van Bemmel was 15 years old he and his band were playing clubs, getting their demo on Texas Q102, and winning Z-Rock’s Battle of the Bands where they won a slot opening for Sony recording artists Dirty Looks. As he continued in high school – his band went on to open for several national recording artists from Sony, Atlantic, MCA, and more – eventually catching the eye of producer Tim Miner (Paula Abdul/Steve Perry from Journey) making demos for him and Eric Andersonfrom Sony Records.​

As the years passed some of Bart’s songs would ed up landing him invites to play several festivals in Texas and on the East Coast including SXSW, the Dallas Music Festival; Mainstream radio airplay in Texas/New York/Canada; Securing top spots in songwriting contests – including runner-up in the final round of the We are Listening Singer/Songwriter Awards where the songs were reviewed by judges including: KK (Producer-Dido/Nelly Furtado), Steve Williams (Producer-Sting/Seal/Eric Clapton), and Carly Vermes (Music Supervisor-Paramount pictures); Landing second place in the John Varvatos Free the Noise on SPIN Earth contest, and more.

Even though Van Bemmel is no longer chasing elusive record deals, he’s switched over to the film business where he has two feature films in development with named talent attaching. ​

But in the meantime – Van Bemmel will never forget his roots in music – which is why he joined Wild Boys. Because each time he and his bandmates play Duran Duran — he doesn’t know who has the better experience: himself or the fans.

Guest Blog: Lake Tahoe Review

By Shonda Talerico Dudlicek

Is there anyone out there who doesn’t know the words?

It was the last night in the city and everyone came to party. And it was a full moon and Friday the 13th.

It was enough of a weird combination to prompt Nick to “grope” Simon at the end of the show, for Simon to forget the next line in “The Reflex” and say: “I don’t know the fucking words,” and for Simon to miss catching his tambourine, only to see it bounce out into the audience, never to return. 

Duran Duran played the final evening of the summer series at the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys and they were clearly in the mood for fun. Sure, Simon declared we were the best audience on this tour. I’ve seen them enough times to know this is a common refrain. But this performance brought out the best of our band.

Songs strayed from recent lineups and well-rehearsed beats, with touches of remixes that reminded me of the old 12-inch singles.  

And why not add those riffs to songs that we’ve memorized? Duran Duran was notorious for releasing album after album of remixes after remixes. Let’s hear some of them! John gave us some funkier bass lines on “Planet Earth”, and Dom threw in some even-more-Andy-like guitar licks on “Sunrise.”

Which is to say that the last few times I’ve seen them on the never-ending “Paper Gods” tour – New Orleans 2019, Las Vegas 2017, Atlanta 2017 and Minneapolis 2016 – the shows seemed more rehearsed with precise timing. Who amongst us doesn’t yell out “Switch it on!” during “Planet Earth” or “1-2-3-4” or “Uno, dos, tres, quatro!” during “Rio?” We’ve got “Arena” and “Sing Blue Silver” etched into our brains, so our responses are Pavlovian.

But first, the negatives I must get out of the way that really have nothing to do with the band, and more with the venue. 

Harveys posted online a few days before the show about the bag policy. Only clear bags and clutch-sized bags would be permitted. My trusty crossbody concert purse – the one I use to tie my concert tees to the strap, in which I can easily slip my Hasselblad zoom lens attachment in a side pocket so I can clip it to my cell phone for those breathtaking close-ups – was banished to the car. I had to stuff my wallet, ticket and phone into pockets of my jeans that were now constantly pulled down by the extra weight. 

I was really ticked about leaving my camera attachment behind, especially when I rely on it for concerts and was depending on it for photos for this guest blog.

But I was pleasantly surprised to see Duran Duran take the stage only 20 minutes late, an improvement from so many shows. No opening act, no booing from impatient fans, which especially wounds my soul.

The band jumped right in with “Hungry Like the Wolf,” a song traditionally farther down the lineup or even at times as an encore. It was a great burst of energy that other shows lacked that began with the choir opening and “New Religion” and the title track from “Paper Gods.” The first New Orleans show had a fan pass out after three hours of waiting, and those of us around her tried to get security’s attention at the Fillmore just as Simon took the stage. Kinda cast a somber note on that show.

In Lake Tahoe, we were treated to all the concert favorites you’d expect (see the set list). “A View to a Kill” and “Wild Boys” seem to strain Simon’s voice with each passing year. But after these songs, Simon’s voice always springs back to life. I’ve been at shows when he was fighting some malady and his voice wasn’t as strong or maybe be moved around less. But tonight, Simon was the host, and he was clearly out to show us a good time. 

There were a few odd moments: Simon brought up a fan who held up a YES sign in reply to “Is anybody hungry” at previous shows and had her sing part of “The Reflex,” Simon recited the poem “The Thread” with no explanation before launching into “Ordinary World” and ended another song with three simple words: “Little Red Corvette.” Why? It just ended there. Making a statement? They performed “Purple Rain” at a show in Minneapolis a few months after Prince’s death, which made sense, but this did not.  

“The Reflex” had playful banter with Simon striding back to Nick’s kingdom and when Simon asked “Why?” Nick replied, “Because it’s Friday the 13th!” The crowd went absolutely wild.   

Pensive John on the bass during “The Chauffeur.”

The last couple shows Duran Duran trotted out some deep cuts, gems like “The Seventh Stranger,” “Friends of Mine” (the last two I saw in New Orleans and the former brought me to tears) and “Anyone Out There.” Not tonight, which was a little disappointing, but we were treated to “The Chauffeur,” which had been shelved for my last few shows, and “Planet Earth,” both huge favorites of mine. They ditched the “Space Oddity” add-on and the NASA graphics post-July were absent. These both have run their course. But I would have liked a song or two from “All You Need is Now,” one of my favorite albums from start to finish and a memorable tour.

Simon has a spanking good time during encore “White Lines.”

Some veterans of the “Paper Gods” tour may tire of “Pressure Off” and “White Lines,” but honestly, the energy both tracks evoke from the band are throwbacks to when we were younger. The band just crackles with both performances. And the dreamy scenes with the stark B&W video of the band in “Pressure Off” is a highlight of every show for me. Yes, “White Lines” is a cover and yes, with only 17 songs Duran Duran could choose so many others. But the band genuinely has so much fun performing this one.

“Wild Boys” encore is always a crowd favorite.

The band took a brief break after “Girls on Film,” which made me worry we wouldn’t get a full encore. Don’t you always think that? “Oh no, what haven’t they played?” “What might they skip?” Instead we were treated to four songs instead of three: “The Universe Alone”/”Save a Prayer,” “Wild Boys” (with lots of extra guitar riffs from Dom) “White Lines” and “Rio.”

Speaking of “Save a Prayer,” Simon added a nice touch: “Is there anyone in the audience who doesn’t know the words to ‘Save a Prayer?’ Yeah, well, you’re standing next to someone who does. So we want you guys to sing the whole song with us.”

Having fun at the end of the show and the four-song encore.

And that we did, from the days of holding up lighters to waving cell phones. From old school to today, Duran Duran brings the joy, the party, the emotion. Impossibly so, they get even better with age. They never sounded stronger and the frequent grins from Nick show this was more than just another gig. We all felt and embraced it. 

Yes, that’s the usually reserved Mr. Rhodes “groping” Simon after “Rio.”

Set list for Lake Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada:

“Hungry Like the Wolf”
“I Don’t Want Your Love”
“A View to a Kill”
“Come Undone”
“The Reflex”
“Last Night in the City”
“The Chauffeur”
“Ordinary World”
“Pressure Off”
“Planet Earth”
“Sunrise”/”New Moon on Monday”
“Girls on Film”
“The Universe Alone”/”Save a Prayer”
“Wild Boys”
“White Lines”

Shonda Talerico Dudlicek is a Duranie all the way from junior high in 1982 when she first heard “Hungry Like the Wolf” on B96 in Chicago. She even dyed her hair various shades of red to keep up with the ever-changing hues of her favorite keyboardist. She was reprimanded for covering her school uniform with homemade DD buttons. She’s never seen the original lineup live, but saw Power Station in 1985 and the Strange Behaviour tour in 1987 … then enjoyed her middle-aged renaissance with the “Astronaut” tour. Lake Tahoe marks her 16th Duran Duran concert – she thinks, because every time she counts, she remembers yet another show. A journalist/writing instructor by trade, she’s never met or interviewed the band and admits that it’s probably for the best because she would likely faint. 

A Durandipitous Sunday Night

It is rare when Jason submits an article to Daily Duranie without a title…and when he does, I take full advantage. “Durandipitous” is my newest word creation. It’s not a word, you say? It is now. -R

I wasn’t going to go. The amount of Duran Duran shows coming through Vegas since Paper Gods was released had worn me down. It’s an emotional experience to dig deep into my soul and light the fuse of nostalgia. And tickets are getting out of hand in Sin City. The last pair of dates left a sour taste in my mouth with two predictable and pretty much identical set lists. I could miss this weekend and hold out for a new album and tour while saving up to someday get a seat up front. 

A visit to Jeff and Jason’s pop-up shop on Friday got my juices flowing. Then, the Duranies met up that night at a Tiki bar and the cocktails started to flow. I met Larry, who first saw Duran Duran in Miami, FL on the Big Thing tour. Same as me! If nothing else, the Daily Duranie party on Sunday was a must for me. There is something special about the Duran community these days. We are survivors, and the band’s continued success is our sweet reward. 
Playing StubHub bingo, I hit refresh about 5,733 times throughout the meet-up to no avail. If I was going to clean out my PayPal fun money for a ticket, it wasn’t going to be a standing room, obstructed view night. Honestly, seeing the passion and swapping stories about Duran was all I needed. Instead, there I was, watching everyone go into the show, ready to head home. Then, a Paper Goddess walked up and granted me a miracle. I was in. Not only that, I was sitting next to the curators of the pop-up shop and two of the most inspiring fans I know: Jeff and Jason. This was Durandipity! 

Opening with “Hungry Like the Wolf” is a masterful stroke. As much as I love a moody, art-pop opener like “Paper Gods”, the energy of a major single sets fire to the room. The casual fans are instantly on their feet, which is essential to a good show. I’m not sure if “I Don’t Want Your Love” counts as a major hit, but nobody sat down after the opener, and the energy was building.  While “A View To A Kill” isn’t Simon’s strongest vocal, he sells it like an exuberant uncle playing James Bond at Halloween. 

If I came for one song, it was “Anyone Out There”, which had surfaced at some recent shows. The excitement of hearing that turned out to be just the start. I never expected to hear “Astronaut”, but the opening synth of “The Chauffeur” is when I officially lost my mind. It is the one classic that I never heard live, and I had not seen it on many set lists. The video cut out a few times so maybe the video engineer was even caught off guard. It didn’t matter, the pocket of Duranies that I saw the show with were singing at the top of their lungs and there were hugs and hi-fives all around. Next to “The Seventh Stranger” earlier this year, it is probably my favorite live Duran moment so far. 

The surprises continued with a rocking “(Reach Up For the) Sunrise” with the “New Moon On Monday” snippet, but the “Planet Earth” mash-up with David Bowie stole my heart. As a music critic, my fandom often finds itself in conflict with the more honest and rationale side of my brain. This Duran Duran show more than satisfied both sides of my being. The band sounded energized, playing with a little swagger instead of going through the motions and the set list was a gift to fans. What a night!

The recent NASA show obviously served as an impetus for this short run of shows, but the thematic arc of the set represented more than that for me. As cartoon spaceman flew around the screens above the band, I kept picturing MTV moon men; the award given at the Video Music Awards in the 1980s. Perhaps they still give them away but I can’t be bothered to go see what MTV is up to in 2019. Still regarded as a video band by many, the band have proven to be so much more and all the moon man imagery of this tour playfully pokes anyone who would disagree. 

It’s hard to choose a favorite set list from a band but Sunday night in Las Vegas is probably it for me. It delivered surprises and the band seemed to have an extra gear that, honestly, isn’t there every show. When a set list changes night to night, musicians cannot lapse into muscle memory and it leads to a better performance. I see enough shows to feel confident in that assessment. I count myself lucky to have been there singing “The Chauffeur” on Sunday night and even luckier to have found a tribe of so many amazing Duranies, especially one Paper Goddess who made it all possible. Thank you. 

Guest Blog: The Awesome NASA T-Shirts

We love when friends send us guest blogs out of the blue! While obviously we love having this place to share all of our Duranie thoughts and ideas, we also welcome other Duranies to do the same! Here’s one from our friend, Nat, about the cool merch connected to Tuesday’s special show! -A&R

I try to attend as many Duran concerts as possible. Like many others, I was unable to attend the NASA show this week. I’m grateful for social media because so many generous people shared their videos and images of this special event. In the “old days”, I would’ve parked myself in front of the television, waiting for MTV to air a blurb and pressing “record” on the family VCR. So while I was not physically present for this concert, I got to see many of its highlights. The
band obviously enjoyed the experience as their social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter & Instagram) shared several “behind the scenes” photos. The band, their family members and friends widely grinned in these photos. I confess that one of my favorite social media posts was of the merchandise table. As a band t-shirt junkie, I was thrilled to see the NASA themed merchandise and I’m incredibly excited that we can purchase some items online through the band’s website.

I usually buy a shirt at Duran concerts for a few reasons. I get my item faster at shows. In February, I made a rookie mistake in Vegas. I’ve been lusting after the white, lightweight hoodie with the tiger on the front for a while. I spied it at the 1st of the Vegas shows but was put off by the long merchandise line. “I will get it tomorrow” I thought. Unfortunately, the next night was the last concert of the touring leg and my shirt was sold out! I haven’t bought it yet
online. So, I regret this oversight still. After I buy Duran items from the official webstore, I begin my long wait for it to arrive to the States. I feel very much like Cookie Monster did in his Siri commercial waiting for his cookies to bake; Google this commercial for a serious belly laugh. I did buy two NASA shirts this week so my sojourn has begun again. I’m consoled by the fan community discount that was useful for this purchase.

Concert shirts are great commemorative items. I’ve purchased multiple VIP tickets for the same touring cycle. Nowadays, the VIP ticket includes some related merchandise. Some VIP items
have been handy. I use the steel, travel mug on days when I need a morning smile. I sport the new headphones on my social media avatars because they are fierce! Others VIP items have
stored away for posterity (yes-the laminates). But the t-shirts, I always use; I’m wearing the black, red & silver 2011 VIP shirt as I type this blog. I bought the Madison Square Garden shirt
after the concert in true New York fashion. I look forward to wearing these NASA shirts to remind me of this special event.

Duran Duran has always been concerned about the visual details. When you look at the NASA concert footage, the video monitor images, behind the band, are evidence of this tendency. Whomever is designing these background images deserves a pay raise. These visuals have become much stronger and enhance the band’s songs. The NASA shirts are well designed like these visuals. Of course, the hugely talented yet humble Patty Palazzo designed them. I feel like I will own “designer” shirts that I obtained at a reasonable price. The front of the shirts have some classic astronaut images and she placed the band’s name on the back of the shirt, using the
NASA font. This detail adds a “peek-a-boo” element that I like. From the front, it looks like a cool, regular shirt but when you turn around, the viewer realizes that this shirt is a limited edition. (If you haven’t seen the video talking about how the shirts are interactive, check it out here.) I’m already accessorizing these shirts in my head; I’m thinking joggers, kicks, baseball cap and big hoop earrings for a great summertime look.

I’m not desolate (anymore) about my non-attendance at this concert. More images and videos from this show are still being posted. Relevant interviews accompanied this show and it sounds
like new music and concerts are in our future. In the meantime, I will enjoy wearing my newNASA shirts…when they arrive…by mail…from the UK. Are they here yet?


Nathalie is a daughter, sister, Auntie, educator, reader, dreamer, Christian, Midwestern, Sci-Fi & Superhero Nerdette  whose favorite band is Duran Duran. She owns multiple copies of most DD albums.  She collects band t-shirts and proudly wears them in her everyday life.