I touched on the whole guitarist debate yesterday, and I realized I had something else to write.
Why does it really matter? What is it about Andy, Warren and now Dom that makes all of us feel the need to debate their worthiness?
Let’s face it, Andy was with the band during much of their climb to the top. He helped write many of the songs we continue to hear on the radio, and in their live shows. There’s no denying any of that, and I don’t think anyone is trying to rewrite that history. However, there’s also no debate that Andy has left the band at this point. He did his job, and from everything that I can see, it would appear that he’s happy to remain outside of Duran Duran.
On the other hand, Warren took up where Andy left off. While Andy was chasing a solo career, Warren made himself available and willing. He wrote a lot of the music that many love most, and at least two of the songs that are still played most on the radio. No one is trying to rewrite THAT history, either. However he too is no longer in the band at this point, regardless of how that happened.
Lastly, there is Dom, who is not a band member in the same respect as the other two. He began as a studio musician, a hired “gun”, so to speak, standing in for Andy while he was sick. Then again as Andy was away due to his father’s death, and carried on after he quit. He has been given writing credit on a few of the band’s albums in the years since, and while many have settled in with his presence onstage, still others choose to ignore what they cannot accept.
After a lot of needless, useless time spent defending Dom over the years – he doesn’t need defending – I realized that it doesn’t matter.
IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER (although sometimes I still forget)
Andy and Warren are ex-bandmembers. They no longer play with Duran Duran, no matter how amazing they were. There’s no debate there, even though I know that some fans are intent on having one. Even if Dom weren’t with the band, it would still be someone else other than Andy or Warren playing guitar, and we would still be hearing that they aren’t as good as <fill in the blank here for whatever the reason>.
It is a pretty unfair battle when you think about it. Can’t we just love them all?
Wild tales of tour dates, returning band members, and new albums have surfaced from the dank, dark depths of the internet. I’m already exhausted, and I’ve been back from my own vacation for less than a week.
The new album thing came up today in my twitter feed, actually. Based purely on my past experience as a Duran Duran fan, I feel pretty certain that there’s no “new album” coming next month. No, I don’t have an official word – are you kidding me? I just know that in all the years I’ve been a fan of this band, they’ve never been on tour and written/recorded an album at the same time and put it out while still technically ON tour. (They’re just taking a break and still have dates to do!) I kind of think that’s almost humanly impossible, and while I have admittedly had high expectations in the past, this is even over my limit. I think it’s really obvious that the original poster is confused with Paper Gods, which by the way, was already released. TWO YEARS AGO.
Amanda already addressed one of the other more rampant rumors – the return of Andy Taylor for the 40th Anniversary. Everybody loves chatting about Andy and Warren, and about what guitar player is their personal favorite. That debate will never go away, and as someone reminded me the other day – you know you’ve made your mark on the world when you can be out of a band for a decade and still be the talk of the fan community. I’m not sure if that’s a win, but I suppose if you’re in the PR industry, maybe so!
The one thing that boggles my mind, is that no one seems to pay any attention to the fact that the guitar player we already DO have can and does read social media, as can the other two. Sure, say what you will about his being a hired gun, or that the other two don’t care and it comes with the territory. The brunt of rumor and discussion doesn’t just affect fans. These guitar players are real people, and this “job” is their career. Sometimes, I think we fans forget that. I know that I do. Many fans feel that the band should have a thick skin by now, and it’s not a problem if they read that you think they suck, or that they completely destroy a guitar solo, or that you think there is only one guitar player for Duran Duran and that’s Andy….or even that the only guy we want onstage is Dom, or that we can’t stand Warren’s ego and refuse to have him back. I’m just not sure that any of that is right or fair to be saying, even when I’ve been the one to say it. So I’m trying my best to be fair. It isn’t easy. I have opinions and a favorite person like everyone else, but I also have to respect those that came before. It took all three: Andy, Warren and Dom, to keep Duran Duran afloat. I’m going to try not to forget that as we move forward. I don’t mind the discussion because we’re a blog and it is what we do, but I’m also a little surprised that the rumors (and that’s all they are at this point) have taken off so quickly. Out of all the debates in the community, this is truly the firestorm. I’m kind of glad I’m not one of the past or present guitar players for this band, that’s all I’m saying.
About that post-tour depression thing
I saw the band last on July 8th. On one hand, It feels like it could have been last week, and on another it feels like it has already been six months. Amanda and I have been tweeting with another friend of ours saying that this post-Duran Duran tour depression (it is a real thing!) has been much harder than normal. I’m in a funk, and naturally it’s because I don’t know that any other dates or new music or anything like that is coming….soon. Sure, the 40th anniversary is coming up, but we don’t know when/how/why/what, and that makes it all sort of enigmatic and ambiguous rather than having a certain something to calendar and look forward to. I’m not suggesting the band fix that by making announcements they’re not ready to make, but life as a fan is just hard sometimes. The waiting is not always fun. Social media helps to make me feel a little less disconnected. I’ve enjoyed being around more to tweet and be a general pain in the ass when necessary. You’re welcome. Bet you all are wondering when I go back to my real job… (the answer is soon)
I suppose on another hand…or foot…that a deep post-Duran tour depression is a sign of a very successful tour. I can’t disagree. I had a blast from start to finish. I’m still thinking about how it started for me at the Jimmy Kimmel show in Hollywood and how it ended at the Masonic in San Francisco for me, and I still smile. I still feel so damn lucky. I mean, I wasn’t even supposed to GO to shows this year. (At least, that is what my husband keeps saying. I don’t really understand his words. Obviously.) I went to four with my best friend. I saw my favorite person several times. I hung out with dear friends. We went to nightclubs. We drank enough vodka to wake up with Russian accents. We teased Simon and John pretty relentlessly. I heard fantastic music. I cried at least once during a show. I fell more in love with the band. AND…I was only spit on three out of the four times I was at a show this year. That’s success!!
I’m gonna miss teasing him until they come back….although I will try my best through social media whenever possible, because you know…it’s what I do. Besides, something has to stave off the sadness, dammit!
I’ve really enjoyed seeing pictures from John, Roger, and Simon on the band’s Instagram and Twitter. Simon never ceases to make me laugh, and I smile whenever I see something from John and Roger, too. Even Dom tweets sometimes. I almost think they’ve found a way to engage, and they may have hit on something that just might work for them, which is great. It makes sense too, because Duran Duran has always enjoyed creating a visual experience. Why not engage through pictures?
So yeah, those rumors drive me crazy sometimes, and other times get me thinking about how I respond. They can be a double-edged sword. The depression, on the other hand, makes me realize that I’m still not “cured” of this fandom. I still care, which is good since Daily Duranie turns seven next month.
Seriously, we’ve been doing this for seven years now? What??? We really are certifiable, Amanda!
Sometimes my timing is impeccable! Take this week, for instance. Amanda and I are putting the final finishing touches on our massive writing project, and I come out of my writing cave just in time to wish Dom a very happy birthday!!
It is easy to come up with nice things to say about Dom on any day. It’s special to be able to say nice things on his birthday, though. For one, the guy exudes constant energy and gives 100% during every single show I’ve ever seen. (and I’ve seen more shows with Dom than with Andy and Warren combined) He never just “phones it in”. Not only that—he makes it look like he’s having fun and that it’s all easy.
I love it when he’s touring with Duran Duran. Sometimes Dom tweets pictures from the places he’s visited, or will even mention the shows and things he’s taken in along the way. In fact, he’s the guy who convinced me to go see Love in Las Vegas! He was right! He’s not the greatest at social media, but I’m really happy we’re not just seeing #RIP tweets from him these days. He tries. He gets a “B” from me for effort. 😉 And sometimes, like last night as he retweeted birthday greetings from fans, he even gets an A. (hope that retweeting finger heals soon…ha ha ha!)
I can’t say whether or not he’s patient all the time. However, when I saw him last April and asked him for a picture, we had trouble getting our camera phone to work. Unfortunately, we ended up needing the flash. For someone who was jet-lagged and blinded by the light (get it?), he was happy to stand there with me. Now I have have evidence of a memory that doesn’t have one or both of us with our eyes closed in the shot. 😀
Yes, I still think the band is lucky to have such a good-natured, hard-working guy playing guitar for them. He’s a great addition to their live band—it is strange using the word “addition” after what has been 11 years or so now—but I think the fans are lucky he’s out there too. He helps to make the shows fun, and I’m glad he’s there.
I hope he has a fantastic birthday with family at home, and my best wishes for many more. See you in a few weeks, Dom!!
An outspoken examination and celebration of fandom!