Tag Archives: John Taylor

Repost: Paper Gods, The Book

Today, I’m taking a self-imposed break. I saw that DDHQ had asked fans for their favorite tour book, and remembered how much I loved the one for Paper Gods. As you can see below, it is far more than just your average picture book commemorating a tour!

Have a wonderful Monday and I’ll be back tomorrow!

-R

**************************************************************************

I needed a diversion from reality last night.

So, I cracked opened the Paper Gods book that my ever-fearless partner-in-crime-and-everything-Duran-Duran sent me for Christmas!

cover

When I opened this particular present, I was delighted because I’d heard it was well-worth the £20, and I hadn’t ordered it myself because I just wasn’t sure I needed it. I own a few of their tour books from the past, and while they’ve always been a sort of “Oh, that’s really nice to have”, I wasn’t positive about this one. All I could think of was that it was 120-pages of photos, and did I really need a book of photos in my collection? I wasn’t sure. I wanted to see more of it in person before making a decision and I didn’t know when or how that might happen. Sometimes, a book like this needs a little previewing, you know? (It’s too bad DDHQ doesn’t know a fan website that could do that kind of thing for them every once in a while…..) So when I opened the gift and marveled at how big the book really is…and then began thumbing through it, I realized just how much I needed a book like this in my collection!

And…it’s not really so much of a tour book, although there are certainly a plethora of pictures in there (even some of Dom, Anna, Jessie & Simon W!). I would describe this book as being sort of the Encyclopedia-of-Anything-You-Wanted-to-Know-About-Paper-Gods-But-Figured-You’d-Never-Be-Able-to-Ask.

First off, the book is big. It’s not your basic 30-page tour book that’s mostly pictures (although yes, there are plenty and I mean that).  At 120 large format pages (13.25″H x 9.5″W), it’s a bit of a monster…and I mean that in a fantastic way!

bookwidth

There’s actual writing in this one, and not just a welcome note from the band or anything like that. There are interviews, thoughts, feelings…lists of words or phrases I can’t quite figure out yet (but trust me I am enjoying the process of trying!), and I’m not even halfway through it yet! Each of the band members gives a full-length interview about the book (and believe me, these are not short answers to questions), and they also interviewed Nile, Ben Hudson and Josh Blair. They even talked creative with Nick and Alex Israel, the artist who did the front cover of the album!!  I AM IN HEAVEN AND I’M NOT COMING BACK!!

I love that they took the process of recording this album and thought to have a book made for people like me.  People who basically dreamt of being a fly on the wall during the entire painstaking process: everything from those first jamming sessions at Dom’s studio down to seeing their reactions to the art for the cover.  The book is really something very special, indeed.

If the interviews and writing doesn’t grab you, the photos certainly will. This book is art…and if you needed to have large format photos of each of the band members, here they are for you to gander at will. I really love how each of the band members has a black and white full-page headshot, along with what I can only describe is a sort of silver “giclée” shadowing overlay printed on a heavier, plastic-like sheet. Way cool. And if you like stickers – they’re included too!

stickers

As I said, I haven’t even read through it all yet. I had to stop myself at 11:15 last night because I needed to get some sleep, and even after I put it down I kept thinking about what I’d read. In many ways that Amanda and I will get into later as we dissect this book from cover to cover on the blog (oh yes – it’s happening), I think the book makes me see the album with a completely different set of eyes, and I’m curious if my ears will pick up anything different too.

My only problem with this book is simply that they really should have marketed it differently. It’s such a great piece of Duran-memorabilia, you’d think they would have gone to more trouble to alert the fan base to it, you know? Seems like they could have used a resource…such as this very website, thankyouverymuch…to get some enthusiastic words out to the fan base and beyond. Amanda and I have a certain knack for grabbing the attention of the fan base when it comes to things like this, and let’s face it..the book is also a freaking steal at £20. (That is $28.91 USD as of this morning)

Let’s just talk about that price for a second before I settle back into my chair and read a bit more: for less than $30.00 US, you can have a large format, coffee table-sized book on Duran Duran (It is paperback). Everything from what some  might describe as “lickable” photos (I certainly wouldn’t say that..,coughs…but hey… I may have heard the term used before somewhere…) to in-depth discussions of the music and process. For the more abstract-minded amongst us, there are poems and lyrics and lists to read and ponder, as well as the aforementioned photos, both posed and from live shows (from the last year). I can’t really get over the value on this one – it’s the best bang for your buck I’ve seen in quite a while.

Like nearly everyone reading, I own a lot of Duran Duran books. I’ll go one further and say I own a lot of books period, but particularly within the realm of fandom and music history of this particular band  – I own a lot. This is a book that any fan of Duran Duran should have in their collection, and I’m thrilled (and shocked!) that they’re not charging the $50 or $60 that the book is really worth, even as a paperback.

Run out and grab a copy while you can! As I said, in coming weeks Amanda and I plan to do several blogs about the interviews and other writing within the book, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who is running off to order their own copy right now…so go get it!

Meanwhile, I’m going to settle back in my chair and read Nile’s thoughts on Paper Gods…

-R

Heroes Inducting Heroes

Those words are all remainders

Hello Monday! I solemnly swear this is not an April Fools post.

(I must admit considering the possibilities of writing a piece on the gem-like qualities of “Read My Lips”. However, I decided that today required something a little different. I’ll leave that other task to those slightly more inspired!)

Instead, this is a post that I have been itching to write since Friday. My heroes inducted heroes of their own into the Rock and Roll Music Hall of Fame. Distance, and lack of invitation or tickets kept me from being there myself (of course!). I just waited patiently, curious about what John and Simon would say about Roxy Music.

Sitting here at home, social media was abuzz with activity. Duran Duran fans flitted from one platform to another, building their arguments for why Duran Duran should already be inducted. I saw many suggest that it was even insulting to John and Simon for needing to lend their kind words to such a ceremony. Was that really the case? I thought about that a lot over the weekend.

Echoes growing in the heart of twilight

Much has been written and said about the Hall of Fame over the years. Read any article about the nominees of any given year and you will find a plethora of opinionated fans responding below. Words such as “politics”, “overrated”, “underrated”, “joke”, “overlooked” and “ignored” dot the comments like punctuation in a grand essay on the history of rock music.

It would also be true that Amanda and I – perhaps more me than Amanda – have lent our voices to the side that says none of it matters. And really, the Hall of Fame doesn’t “matter”. It is no different than any other sort of recognition in that sense. The notation is wonderful to have, but it certainly isn’t the kind of thing one should campaign to receive.

Whether or not a band or artist has been inducted into the Hall of Fame does little to vindicate, or validate. My opinion is simply that the band’s history – in this case I mean Duran Duran’s – speaks for itself. An induction into the Hall of Fame isn’t going to suddenly convince anyone of their greatness. By the same token, I am not saying they aren’t worthy of such an honor. I just don’t happen to believe they need me, or anyone else, to beg or campaign their peers to bestow such a distinction.

Awaken all those whispers

Getting back to Friday night – it was a different story. John and Simon were asked to induct a band that is as important to them as Duran Duran is to me – or likely anyone else reading. Roxy Music was their inspiration, and a driving force behind their career. While my
“career” as a blogger is “slightly” less fortuitous, I am indeed a fan. Duran Duran is 100% my inspiration. Obviously. So, I can fully imagine their joy, admiration, respect, and honor in taking the stage for Roxy Music. Even as I strained to hear their speech on a YouTube video, it was plain to see their pride. My emotions swelled. After all, my heroes were inducting their own heroes. The thunderous applause when they took the stage was all I needed to remind myself of one thing – Duran Duran is loved by many.

I also felt something very different while listening to John’s tale of waiting backstage at the Odeon. He and Nick were there in 1974 (I was four years old at the time – which makes me laugh!!), listening to Roxy Music’s soundcheck. It was as though I were listening to a friend tell a story about fandom. In fact, I am nearly certain we’ve all done similar things over the years. Who wouldn’t have run to the back of a venue if one could hear Duran Duran soundcheck? For example, I remember waiting in 95-degree heat outside of the backlot venue for Jimmy Kimmel Live. I could hear Duran Duran play “You Kill Me with Silence” live for the first time. Adrenaline coursed through my veins because in a few hours, I knew I’d be in front of them for the first time in a couple of years. So exciting!

John spoke about seeing the black Mercedes pulling up, band members rushing out, piling into the car and speeding away. More than once I’ve been amongst the gathering of fans at the back entrance of a venue, waiting to see the band emerge. The thrill is intoxicating, and John communicated those feelings like…well…like any other fan I’ve ever met.

This brings me to one thing I feel most confident in saying about John. He knows what being a fan is like. I don’t think he’s entirely forgotten what it feels like to be one of us. During the four and a half minutes or so that he spoke (their entire speech was just under nine minutes I believe), he conveyed the feelings I have whenever I see Duran Duran. A thrilling mixture of pride and joy, adrenaline and emotion, inspiration and comfort flow through me – every single time. Seeing John and Simon speak of the very same things that have kept me engaged with Duran Duran over the years reminded me once again, we really are not so different.

All these faces look the same to me

John and Simon were not two men forced to eat a generous slice of humble pie while inducting Roxy Music into a club that has not accepted them. No, these were two men overjoyed by being able to recognize the band that made Duran Duran what it is today. These were two fans inducting their heroes. To say otherwise completely defeats the messages that John and Simon were trying to communicate. Everything they said, all of the body language present that night indicates just the opposite: they were proud to be there.

I was proud to watch them, if even after the fact. I can’t imagine what it must have felt like to induct their heroes. Oddly, I almost think it is more of an honor to be the one inducting than it is to be the one inducted. After all, how many people get the opportunity to gush over the career of a hero?

Well, besides this blog, anyway…and to have the heroes actually listen? I cannot imagine ever being quite so lucky to have the honor.

I must be chasing after rainbows

So, to my fellow fans commiserating over Duran’s obvious absence in the Hall of Fame – it was no insult for them to be there that night. Never think that. Instead, I earnestly recommend focusing on the obvious pride they took while inducting Roxy Music. Sometimes, the real rewards don’t come packaged in a trophy or plaque, or in ways we might easily notice. Taking those accolades from the band purely because we fans don’t like the box is unfair. It does a great disservice to the very people we admire most.

-R

If You Want To Stay With Me

Something to let you understand the way I feel

Today is March 28. On this date back in 2001, I went to see Duran Duran in Anaheim. Granted, it probably wasn’t a monumental show to anyone but me. Regardless, every single year I think about that night, and how it completely changed me.

I know that for many of you reading – you’ve seen this story and are sick of it. I get it. The reason I take the time to write about it each year though, is because I think it illustrates just how one single show, event, etc, can change your life. (So buy the tickets!)

Had I not been in the audience at the House of Blues that night, there’s no way this blog would exist. I would have never met Amanda, Jessica, Lisa, Suzie, or Lori. Prior to that night, I’d tucked away memories of being a Duranie right along next to those marked “high school” or “middle school”. Sure, I still loved their music, but rather than having the songs be a vibrant part of my life – they were special memories.

To feel it once again

I still loved them. I mean, whenever I’d hear they were going to be on a talk show in support of an album, I’d be sure to tune in. Most of those shows were during the day, and I was a stay-at-home mom anyway so it worked well. I didn’t deliberately keep Duran Duran a secret, but I also didn’t think to talk about them much. My knowledge of them was rather limited to whatever I’d heard on the radio or read in a book or magazine. It was the kind of thing where I’d say “Yeah, I really loved them back in junior high and high school.” No more, no less.

But then Walt insisted on buying these tickets to see them at the House of Blues. I thought they were a fortune at $65.00 a piece. (Seriously? Someone slap me!) To say I wasn’t excited was an understatement. I tried to talk him out of going several times, even complaining about how we didn’t have a sitter. (Obviously we found one) But the night arrived, and my husband was hell bent that we were going.

It’s just Duran Duran…

I can remember arriving at the venue. It was in Downtown Disney at the time, and we walked up to see a line of people waiting to get in. It was only about 5pm, maybe 6 at the latest, and I was appalled.

“Waiting to get in as though it’s still 1985??? REALLY?!? There’s no way I’m waiting in that. I don’t care how far back we are. How dumb!!”

We went and had dinner at the House of Blues. We found out through our waitress that since we ate there, we’d get in early. I waved her off, laughing.

“It’s just Duran Duran!”

(Famous last words)

We finished dinner and walked right into the music hall, where I announced that we would just stand by the bar. Walt was floored.

“Really? Are you sure??” He shrugged and went to go get us drinks.

Thank you for the fine times

I stood there for a while and surveyed the scene. The floor continued to fill up steadily, but I was insistent that I didn’t need to be in that mess. I could hear them just fine from the back. My thinking was that John, Roger and Andy weren’t even in the band, and I had no idea who in the heck was even playing drums or bass these days. Simon and Nick? Warren? I shrugged to myself. They weren’t my favorites, who cares?!? I just hoped that they’d sound like what I remembered.

I’m not exactly sure when I finally made my way over to about the top of the stairs (going down to the floor), but I suspect it was because Walt insisted. I don’t remember much about him being beside me after that, either – which is pretty funny, and telling.

The band took the stage (although if I remember right, they were way late to do so), and from the second Simon opened his mouth to sing – I was lost to the rest of the world. I was there. In the same room. With Simon! Breathing the same freaking AIR.

Do you remember

Not going to lie, aside from Simon introducing a song at one point by saying it was off of their Pop Trash album (I couldn’t even tell you what song it was – and I didn’t even OWN the album), I have no idea what they played that night. I just know that I was transported somewhere else. I felt like I’d stepped back in time and was reintroduced to someone I’d left behind many years back—me.

Junior high, or middle school, were tough years. Puberty, hormones, just an overall feeling that wavered between being thankful I had friends to feeling awkward and completely alone. Duran Duran had been my saving grace, then. It was the one thing that made me feel “cool” (and I definitely was not). I was included in a group of friends who loved the band as much as I did, and that’s how I managed middle school.

While I hadn’t really discovered boys yet – I discovered Duran Duran. They were safe. They couldn’t reject me, and they didn’t know I was a nerdy kid with frizzy hair that didn’t know the first thing about fashion. I could put posters all over my room, retreat into the safety and warmth of my room, and daydream about meeting them. I was convinced that Roger would fall for me, and that I’d become best friends with the rest of them. Ah, the innocence and naivety of the tween years.

Would never seem to end

High school began much of the same way. I was still a total nerd with frizzy hair, but I’d gotten into marching band. In high school, marching band became my haven (although even there, I was one of the nerdy ones). I had no idea how to flirt with the boys, was disgusted by the girls who did, and instead of learning – I did the opposite by befriending them all. One of my friends would giggle and act like an idiot at our local pizza parlor hangout, whispering about her then-boyfriend with our other friends in a corner. Me? I’d sit with him and the other guys at a table, and we’d talk like normal people. I couldn’t ever understand why the boys would always fall for girls like my friend, and never ones like me, though.

Naturally, that changed during my high school years. I had boyfriends. I suppose I finally learned how to flirt without feeling like I’d lost IQ points in the process. My hair stopped being so frizzy. While I never quite became a fashionista, I did settle into my own style and owned it. Sort of.

College was more of the same. I gained and lost friends, all the while learning who I really was. I changed a lot, and not necessarily for the better. By then, Duran Duran had been all but completely shelved. My posters gone, my childhood bedroom became someone else’s as my parents moved out of the area and I lived at school. I just don’t think I ever noticed just how much of myself I was leaving behind in the process.

To feel it once again

I didn’t recognize how different I was until I saw Duran Duran that night in 2001. I’d been functioning for so long, I didn’t see it.

That’s just it though. I functioned. Something was always missing. I lived, but not fully. I loved being a mom, but secretly I wondered if that was really all there was left for me. Rather than search or start asking questions, I just settled into what I had. This reads so pathetically as I’m typing it – but it’s exactly how I felt at the time.

Going to that show on March 28, 2001 opened up a door. In some ways, it feels a little like an escape hatch! I became reacquainted with this inner-Duranie that I thought was gone forever. I really like her, too. There’s a fierceness, a sense of bravery, and even a bit of fiery independence somewhere inside of me that peeks out every now and then, at her insistence. She’s not willing to just settle, no matter how often I try to stuff her back into the box and explain that I can’t just restart my entire adult life over again to suit her.

At your liberty

I think that’s a lot of the reason why I keep writing this blog. Sure, sometimes finding topics of interest is tough. I’ve been writing for eight years, and the words don’t always just float ever so gracefully to the surface. While this blog serves as a sort of tribute to being a fan, it also gives a little justice to the inner-Duranie each day.

…as if I could ever really forget her.

-R

Maybe Things Can Change Only if You Want

Random aspects of our lives

Well, heck. I’ve sat here with this window open on my computer for far too long, without a single Durancentric, fandom idea popping into my head.

The trouble is two-fold: Spring has sprung at my house. We actually had to mow the grass yesterday afternoon, and for the first time since we moved in – I was able to be outside without a jacket or hoodie on. It had hit 60 degrees F, and I was outside with a Punkmasters t-shirt on. Funny. When I lived in So Cal, if the thermometer dipped below about 68, I was in long sleeves. I had to – it wasn’t as though it would get too much colder! Up here, I was proclaiming it nearly beach weather! So, I’m anxious to be outside, getting our chicken coop finished, and begin making plans for the goat barn and pen areas.

Yes, you read that correctly. Just go with it.

Naivete falls from our eyes

Where was I? Oh yes, the second, more somber reason for my writers block. Well, real-life trouble, of course. I need to tread carefully because this isn’t my story to tell. The bottom line is that sometimes, I don’t know how to help someone. It isn’t just a case of someone needing a bed moved, or even a love triangle than needs sorting. More serious than that, addiction, rehab, lying, and scheming all taking their fair share of the story here. You’d think these were themes from a TV show, except this is all happening in real life.

Of course, I think about John. I have other friends who have gone to rehab and have their own 12-step programs, but he is obviously the most well-known. I think about all he has done in the years since, and how he gives back – as do others within the band. On this very date in 2009, Nick attended the Naked Soul art exhibit in Howick Place, London. The exhibit was to benefit Youth to Youth, a charity to end gang violence and drugs in 2009. Clearly, the cause is something they take to heart.

You know there’s no avoiding

John, of course, has remained pretty vocal about addiction and recovery programs. He’s made it less of a horrible secret and more like any other disease, which seems to be the key. The more we talk about it, the less shameful it becomes. Addiction is a disease. The people – the addicts themselves – aren’t terrible people. They’re not losers, they’re not wastes of life. I sometimes think that gets lost in the translation amongst the horrific tales of desperation that coincide with addiction. Before John wrote his book or started really speaking out, my feelings were very different. It all seemed pretty black and white to me. The school drug programs we sat through each year while growing up really did their work on me.

Now, as a grown woman with children, I see shades of grey. If we can’t help one another, what good are we as humans, anyway? Compassion and kindness go a long way. (Consider this my newer, softer side!)

Admittedly, while I have quite a few friends who have faced the disease, I don’t have a lot of personal experience. I’ve never been that close to it, at least not that I know. Compassion though – that’s something I understand. How far that should go, though? I can’t answer that question. It is one thing to be compassionate, it is another to have your life railroaded. Self-care and protection is important. I recognize that the idea of fighting for sobriety must be incredibly overwhelming.

The lesson to be learned

As I said this morning, the one thing I do know about addiction is that it is a continual, lifelong process, fight, or journey. There’s no magic recipe, or rehab that one enters and comes out an immediate, perfect, success. My understanding is incredibly limited, but I hear it is one day at a time. That’s it. One day. The decision to remain sober is active, whether it is minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, or day-by-day. For those of us habitual, control freakish, long term planners, it seems like a potential nightmare.

Unlike many of my other writings, this doesn’t end with a shiny red bow to tie it up prettily before publishing. These are just musings going through my head that somehow found themselves typed and bound into WordPress. I very much dislike not having answers beyond “protect yourself, but be compassionate”. I know how to finish a chicken coop. (words I never thought I’d type to the world…) I can fix something like that.

This though, is tougher. There isn’t just one pat answer.

-R

John on Jonesy’s JukeBox

Did you know that John Taylor was recently on Jonesy’s Jukebox? This, of course, is the radio show hosted by former Sex Pistols’ guitarist, Steve Jones. If you know your Duran history, you also are familiar with the fact that Steve and John played in Neurotic Outsiders together in the 1990s, one of John’s side projects. Every time I listen or watch the two of them interact, their friendship and affection for each other is obvious. This most recent video is a good example.

Of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t comment on a few parts of the video. First, I love how excited John clearly is to go to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame ceremony in order to induct Roxy Music with Simon at the end of the month. The love he has for that band is obvious and I so appreciate the fact that John, even with all of his fame and legions of fans, is still a fan himself.

Then, I love that Steve Jones is trying to raise money for St. Jude’s for children with cancer. As John stated, it is a “no brainer” and a great cause. My mother is a breast cancer survivor so this is a cause that definitely speaks to me.

If all this wasn’t enough, John did give a brief update on the studio work the band has been doing. He spoke about Mark Ronson. The idea of Mark being in the studio with the band is one that excites quite a few Duranies. John did not specify his exact role and how much he will be doing with the band. I, for one, am happy that he is there and I will take however much he actually does. I refuse to get my hopes up too much as I am well-aware that Mark is highly in demand and that lots can change between now and a finished product. That said, the idea still makes me smile.

On that note, what did the rest of you think? Did you enjoy John’s appearance? What caught your attention?

-A

Some Extraordinary News Bytes for a Happy (Fat) Tuesday!

After yesterday, I need a little “happy”. Anybody else?

I’m still bogged down between Michael Jackson being a pedophile and my #1 crush of the 90s, Luke Perry dying from a stroke. (sorry Roger, but you were farming!) Was yesterday really just Monday?? I’d like to declare the week finished now.

However, today is a brand new day, and I’m determined to find the good. Luckily for me – I didn’t have to look very long, or very hard to find it.

Two great things to be happy about today:

Duran Duran will be inducting Roxy Music into the Hall of Fame

While it isn’t the same as say, Duran Duran being inducted – they will be participating in the ceremony to be held on March 29th at Barclays Center in New York. Last week, John was on KLOS 95.5 with Steve Jones (Jonesy’s Jukebox) in Los Angeles and broke the news.

Most fans know that Roxy Music is one of Duran Duran’s biggest influences. Simon and John will be at the ceremony to pay tribute. There is no word whether or not Roxy Music will take the stage to actually perform, although Andy MacKay (saxophone) hopes they will.

I suspect many Duran fans will be getting tickets to the ceremony or, like me, tuning in to watch the show when it airs.

Duran Duran to play Tinderbox (Denmark) on June 28th

Life is funny. Just a little over a week ago, I was speaking with a friend about the band’s 2019 schedule. This person, who is extremely reliable, and will remain nameless, shared that they hadn’t heard of anything else coming up in 2019, but that they fully expected this to change in a matter of days. I’d spoken with someone else close to the band earlier in the day who had said the same basic words. I knew by the way they’d both made sure to say that things would change that something was coming down the pipes soon. But where? When?

It turns out that Europe will be getting a Duran Duran visit this summer! While I’d love to jet on over to Denmark, I’m gonna have to sit this one out. Tickets are on sale now! Go grab yours!

If that weren’t enough, we’re still getting studio teasers from DDHQ….and this time, it’s all Mark Ronson, all the time. You could say I’m still a skeptic, but I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing what will come next! Will he sing or perform as a guest artist? Is he producing? Only time will tell.

Lastly, DDHQ tweeted an excerpt from “Extraordinary World”, which in their words, is the chronological story-telling of the band’s career up through The Wedding Album. If you haven’t seen this documentary – it is worth the hunt to find it. Since the 25th anniversary for The Wedding Album was last year, and I’m still confused as to what they’re doing for the 40th, I have to wonder why they tweeted it. More teasing? If so…for what?

I have a feeling the next few months are going to be very interesting. Don’t blink, you might miss something!

-R

See them walking

As the lights (or sequins) flashing out are so bright

Is anyone else enjoying the pictures, set lists and tweets that seem to go hand-in-hand with touring? I love seeing the flurry of activity, the pictures from backstage (Questionable fashion choices included, l might add. Nice sequins, John.), and even the posts from other fans at the shows. It reminds me of how much I enjoy the whole touring process, even if I can’t be at every show.

Walk right out to the four line track

This week, however, I am very lucky to be able to say I’m getting ready to leave for Las Vegas on Thursday. In the past, I’d hop in my car and just drive the four hours. Maybe I’m weird, but I LIKE driving. I love the idea of being alone with my own thoughts, listening to my own music, and making my own way (no pun intended…really…) there. Unfortunately though, the distance from my current address makes the trip less-than-optimal, so I am flying. I leave on Thursday morning, and I’m flying on a fairly tiny plane – just 30 seats – which should make the trip interesting!

Naturally, the one time I am flying on a very small plane, there’s a chance of snow. Now, I realize most of you live in snowy climates. Snow isn’t exactly “news”…except that this is happening in Las Vegas, which is really not known for snow. I’m not really concerned about the weather – as long as my little plane is able to take off and land at the appropriate places. I would also like to put it out there that I hope everyone else has safe travels, too. After that, I’ll be inside…and probably at a bar. I mean, it’s my vacation!

Sense a rhythm humming

We’ve had quite a few people ask us about meet-ups this week. Here is the thing: we get in on Thursday afternoon and will be ready for fun by late afternoon! This time though, Amanda and I sort of agreed that we’d do things more casually. The pressure of putting something together didn’t appeal to me, and I liked the idea of just going with the flow. I realize that for many of you coming, you might have been hoping for firm plans and big parties. What I will tell you is this, we’ll post where we’re going and you can decide to join in. It’ll BE a big party no matter what, but it takes a little bit of the pressure and planning off of us to do it more like a “pop-up” hangout. Looking forward to seeing everyone!!

In the meantime, I can give the heads up that Mandalay Bay has a pretty good live band that plays in their Rhythm & Riffs lounge right in the middle of the casino. Their name is Phoenix, and they’re a solid cover band. They’ve been at Mandalay for at least 6 years now, if my memory serves. They play a pretty good variety, but they are mainly rock, not pop. They’re not going to break into “Rio”…for example. They go on at 10 on Thursday, and I believe 10:30 on Fridays. I wouldn’t be surprised if you found a bunch of us there on Thursday night, if you happen to be in town and want to open the weekend with a good party!

Wider baby, smile (we haven’t made a million…more like SPENT a million…..)

Now, for those of you who aren’t going to be in Las Vegas, I am going to try my best to keep my phone out of water this time, and post more videos! Dance parties, meet-ups, bar “visits”…Duran shows… what could be better?!? Even if you’re not there, our job is to make you feel like you are still taking part in the action! Watch this space, and stay tuned to our social media!

If you’re not already following Daily Duranie on Facebook , @dailyduranie on Twitter, and dailyduranie on Instagram, what are you waiting for? Add us, and stay up to the minute with our Vegas adventure!!

-R

I Know What It Is Coming Over You

So, I hear that much of the country is reeling from snowstorms and ridiculously cold weather! I’m not going to tell you what it’s like in California right now, but there is no snow on the ground where I’m at…

I do believe that the winter doldrums are here. After John’s Katy Kafe last week, some are looking forward to shows in February. Still others are counting down the days until March, when the band may go back into the studio for more work on new music. We’re all waiting for something, I suppose. Whether that something is a trip to Grand Cayman, Miami, New Orleans or Las Vegas, or it’s March or even springtime, we’re waiting.

Look around

Even I’m feeling that anxious, bored feeling. I’m ready to take on a new project here at home now that we’re semi-settled in, but I’m also kind of still eyeing the bins in the garage, thinking we should have cleaned out more! So I started thinking of ways we might break up the monotony in the meantime. Over the weekend, DDHQ posted this picture of John Taylor:

It appeared with the caption “JT gets plugged in” with Power Station being one of the hashtags. As I looked at the picture, I agreed that it was the visual representation of Power Station for sure, and that gave me an idea.

Nothing can stop us

Admittedly, it’s been a long time since Amanda and I have done any sort of game on social media. There’s no time like the present though, so we thought we could try something just for fun on Facebook and Twitter. To begin, Amanda and I are going to decide on the name of a song, and your job is to wow everyone with a visual interpretation of that song. For example, once upon a time we stumbled upon this painting…

Amanda might better remember what museum we were in when we found that painting (was it Tate Modern? The Art Institute?? Why can’t I remember these things???), but as we stood looking at it – she looked at me and said “It’s Anyone Out There”. You can check out that blog in our archives here. Ultimately, she sent in a question to “Ask Katy”, and eventually got a reply that no – the artwork didn’t inspire the song (but certainly could have!) Regardless, we’ve found ourselves in similar situations over the years where we’ve seen things and immediately a song or line of lyric comes to mind. Now, we’re asking YOU to do the same!

You don’t dance…

So, if you want to join in on the game – just for fun – we will announce the name of the song for the week on social media, and you can post your pictures @dailyduranie with hashtag #DDinpics on Twitter, or you can post them on our Facebook page if you’d like. Either is fine. If I can remember how to post it to Tumblr, I’ll do it there too!

For this week, just to get you started – our song of the week is going to be “Danceophobia” from Paper Gods. Yes, I decided we’d better start easy and go from there. You have from now until next MondayNow go be creative! 🙂 There really aren’t rules to this, but if you can take an original photo to represent this, I would be wildly entertained. Regardless, we just want everyone to have fun.

Eventually, we’re going to do this the other way around – where all of you can post pictures and we have to guess what song you’re interpreting!

Hoping to see lots of great photos!!

-R

January 2019 Katy Kafe with John Taylor

Lately, timing has been on my side. The Vegas weekend comes at a perfect time in that it is right after the primary for the campaign I’m working on. This will give me a great break before I have to push it hard for the general election in April. Now, on a smaller scale, this Katy Kafe comes at a good time as I was thinking about what to write about for a blog today. On that note, let me explain that I won’t be giving a full transcript here. Far from it. No, I’ll share the highlights and my thoughts about them. If you want to listen for yourself to see Mr. John Taylor had to say, then I recommend heading over to DuranDuranMusic and get a membership for yourself.

The conversation started with a brief discussion about New Year’s Even. JT was in London, apparently, and was able to get out, go dancing, etc. but it wasn’t like when he was young. The fun just isn’t the same. I completely relate to that.

The format to this kafe is simple in that fans send in questions on social media. Obviously, Katy did not ask all of them but give quite a few. The first question was about letters and whether or not he has any special ones and the last one he has written. He got a letter from the Obamas for his 50th birthday, which he thinks is pretty cool. (So do I!) All of the band members have a letter from Prince William and Prince Henry for their participation in the concert for Diana. John also saved letters from his daughter, which is sweet. The last ones he has written might be to his kids or just those letters of recommendation. (This reminds me that I have a letter of recommendation to write myself.)

The next question focused on a song that he hasn’t played in a long time but wants to. According to John, they have “dusted off” a couple for the shows in February. One that he has been practicing has not been played since the Arena tour. This, of course, has me thinking. I have some ideas but I won’t spoil anyone with my speculation! Personally, I would love hearing a new (old) song or two. I will definitely be on my toes in Vegas now!

Speaking of playing new material, one question asked about how often John plays at home. Here’s is where I learned something new. John has been taking piano lessons and learning how to read music. Not only do I think it is cool but I like the idea that he wants to keep learning. I can relate as I have been learning a lot about how to run an effective local campaign. Obviously, now, though, he has to get back to playing the bass to get ready for the February shows, which really are coming up quickly now!

How does John keep creative projects separate? He thinks that the various projects can provide inspiration for other projects and “create creative confidence.” My mom as a fiber artist definitely functions like this in that she always has a number of projects going. That said, he did admit that he often takes on more than he can chew and leaves projects undone. Again, I can relate. Rhonda and I have had a lot of projects that we have started that haven’t seen the finish line. Someday.

Of course, people wanted to know how the new music is going? John said that when they got into the studio before Christmas, everyone was ready, which made it good. He mentioned how they were working with a new producer and some new musicians who they had never worked with before. They plan to return to the studio at the end of February. Those new musicians made me wonder, I’ll admit. Who? Why? Hmm…

Someone asked about an artistic forum that John has not tried would like to. His response? Contemporary dance. This created quite an image for Katy and for me as I thought about his dancing during Danceophobia during the Paper Gods tour. He then clarified to say that he would like to create the music for contemporary dance. That said, maybe he would pick up painting once he retired to the British countryside. He wouldn’t be the first to do such a thing.

Bothered that people judge success based on charts? They benefited in the 1980s from charts. Now it is more about one’s sense of self and one’s own standards. Hard and painful when not on the charts but after a few cycles, you get over that. Now it is about numbers on social media, etc.

Here was an interesting question. What 3 words describe you as a young man and what 3 words describe you now? For when he was young, he said, “shy, happy, gangly(???).” (Anyone hear that last word clearly?) As for now, he said interesting, grateful, happy.

Along the same lines, what are three things we don’t know about you? Katy answered for him by saying that she didn’t know that he was so tall, so smart, and had such a big heart. John talked about how he is clothes horse and tries to be trendy, likes to collect books and misses his parents every day. Both of those answers made my heart swell a little bit.

The last question that interested me is whether or not the band can and does realize the influence they have had on their fans? John’s response indicated that they don’t want to pat themselves on the back too much or allow themselves to get big heads but he does admit that he has been touched by particular stories. He also loves how the band is a connector in that they brought people who wouldn’t be friends otherwise who now go to shows together and visit each other. Hmm…that sounds familiar. Very familiar. Yep, that lines hits close to home.

On that note, I thoroughly enjoyed this particular kafe. I give a lot of props to the questions people sent in as they were all awesome. I can never think of anything when offered something like that so good for all of you! I also appreciated that John suggested people send in their questions again if they didn’t get them asked now. Good for him. On that note, I’m going to go knock on doors in negative degree temperatures. Wish me luck!

-A

Mish-Mash Monday!

Happy Monday, everyone. I have a house full of guests this morning, so I am going to need to make this post a quick one. It turns out – there are several things going on that can turn a week of winter doldrums into something a little less boring!

First of all, John is going to be a guest in an upcoming “All Fan Question” Katy Kafe. If you have a burning question for John, tweet it to @duranduran during the next 20 hours or so with the hashtag #JTJanKafe. I don’t know about other people, but my mind completely empties of any thoughts at all when Katy asks for fan questions. I will do my best to think of some, though!!

Secondly, DDHQ asked an interesting, thought provoking question this morning that I thought I’d share here. “What is the most cinematic of Duran Duran’s songs? What images does it conjure for you?”

There are obvious answers here, one of which being the Fatal Kiss version of “A View To A Kill”, or even “New Moon on Monday”. Then, there are other, less obvious, but very interesting choices, such as “Before the Rain”. I loved scrolling through some of the answers. As for my own, I am leaning towards “Before the Rain” because it is so grandiose on one end; deep, dark and brooding on the other. What about you?

Lastly, I have something new to suggest checking out. If like me, you appreciate a good discussion about the music, you might enjoy @Guy FansofDuran and his new podcast venture, “The D Side”. I’m intrigued and can’t wait to see where the podcast goes. With a new point of view, it provides a starting place for fantastic, ongoing dialogue about the music. I think “The D Side” will do extremely well. Check out “The D Side“. Best of luck, David!

As for me, I’ll be back full-strength tomorrow. Have a wonderful day, everyone!

-R