Tag Archives: John Taylor

A Good Place to Start: First Day by Anna Ross!

A lot of things happen in a two-week time period! I am back from vacation, although I remained fairly “plugged-in”  while I was gone.   We arrived very late on Saturday night. Yesterday, I spent the day attempting to catch up, do laundry (I am staring at a mountain of clothing yet to be done…), and get my son Gavin ready to leave for his college orientation this morning.

So while I sit here trying not to worry about how he’s doing, I’m going to blog instead! (For those who don’t know, my son Gavin is on the autistic spectrum. He’s very high functioning, which means that for the most part, people just think he’s a little quirky. He is also incredibly smart. His major is physics, if that gives any indication of what I’m up against. He’s also one of those kids that tends to fall through the cracks…and I’m really hoping all of the work we did for the past six years to teach him to ask for help and advocate for himself worked! I’m imagining him wandering the campus for two days rather than asking where the line is for orientation….)

I’m going to take a deep cleansing breath, and try to focus on the task at hand.

Has anyone listened to the new music Anna Ross has been working on? Get on it, people! She is working steadily on completing her first album, which was funded (in part) through a pledge campaign. I’ve taken part in a few of these campaigns for various artists and bands, but I was thrilled to help Anna out. She’s been around since I started going to shows with…how shall I put it…vigor? enthusiasm? unbridled, relentless spending??  Anyway, she’s been around a while, and I’m happy to support!

“First Day” is aptly, her first single. She co-wrote the song with Simon.  Can I just say how fantastic it has been to see Duran Duran not only embrace, but truly support Anna’s music? I love that. I’m proud of my “family”. (Like it or not, Duran Duran – we’re all in this together. Consider me one of the intelligent, precocious younger sisters with a wild side!) I just think it’s refreshing to see Simon tweeting and encouraging Anna, and the reminders from Duran Duran to buy the single (which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND). I like when we encourage our own. I know that some of this comes down to business, but for a minute – I just want to forget about that, and focus on the warm fuzzies I feel when I see us all pulling for one another.

Another striking thing about this song is that it was funded, at least in part, by a pledge campaign. I participated in the campaign, and so I have heard snippets of this work since nearly the beginning. The evolution of the song has been a lot of fun to witness and I’ve enjoyed hearing the way the song grew. I was very excited to finally hear the finished product when I was finally able to download and listen. I have seen some comments that the single should have been given to pledge participants, and while I know some bands do that – this is Anna, not Duran Duran. It’s her first album, and it’s not like she’s a bank. She’s a hard-working artist, and I fully support her efforts. I’d do more if I were able, because I adore her and love music in general. I don’t need a $1.29 single and/or a remix to feel like I got my money’s worth for what I pledged.  Maybe that’s just me, and maybe I’m being naive. I am, however, thrilled she’s getting her album finished. It’s a long road, and I have some sense of how difficult it can be to reach the finish line. I just want to see her succeed and reach her goal – whether that’s completing the album, or eventually touring. (Can you bring Dom with you???)

One of the reviews I read suggested that the song is EDM. I’m not going to lie – this threw me because it’s not what I would have characterized as EDM. Then again, I’m a 46-year old woman. What in the hell do I know? That said, it IS electronic, which is funny – that’s something that typically I notice right off the bat. This time I paid no attention, focusing instead on Anna’s beautiful voice, which really drives the music, in my opinion. I especially love the crispness of her vocals, even when she’s singing at a fairly frenetic pace. The song is uplifting, positive, catchy and promising of what is to come.  Can’t wait to hear the rest of the album, Anna!

If that weren’t enough, the John Taylor/Charles Scott IV remix of  “First Day” dropped while I was camping, deep in the forest of the Washington-side of the Columbia River Gorge area. (Can I just say that there isn’t much more frustrating than being nowhere near wi-fi when new music is released?)

A while back, I was reading something about remixes and how they are the interpretation of what a producer heard when they experienced the song. I thought about that while I listened to John’s remix. He slowed it down, which worked very well for the song and even for her lyrics. There is one section of the song, about 2:40 into the remix, that is very reminiscent of The Universe Alone, as far as effects go, and it really gives the song an ethereal quality. I thought it was done beautifully, and what I really appreciated was that rather than change the song into something completely different, it highlighted the structure that was already there.  As I said yesterday on Twitter, I look forward to playing this, and the original single,  in my car, LOUDLY.  Sometimes I just need a little extra inspiration to get through the day!

-Rd

Get Anna’s music here and enjoy:

First Day single on iTunes

First Day Remix on iTunes

 

My Head is Cool and Quiet: The Possible Return of AT

Sometimes, I know that blog posts are going to get little attention.  Others, I know might get a lot of attention.  Some of those, I suspect could potentially get a lot of negative attention or criticism.  This post will be one of those.

As I mentioned on Friday, I promised that I would give my thoughts about the various ideas John Taylor has bantered about in regards to the upcoming 40th anniversary celebration.  Some of his ideas are not very controversial.  Most fans, if all, might like the release of previously unreleased material like Reportage.  The idea of having 40 happenings sounds interesting.  Of course, I’m not sure what would entail a “happening” but it sounds good in theory.  Thus, this blog won’t focus on those ideas.  No, I’m going to do it.  I’m going to rip the band-aid off and talk about the white elephant in the room, so to speak.  I’m going to give my thoughts about Andy Taylor being involved in the anniversary.

Before I dive into present day Duran, let me acknowledge that I am one of those original Duranies.  I became a fan as a kid in the 1980s.  To me, Duran was the Fab Five with John, Simon, Roger, Nick AND Andy.  In listening to those first couple of albums, I can hear the musical tension between guitars and keyboards, which often created the best songs.  In many cases, it is almost like they were having a dialogue through the music.  I felt strongly that this is what makes Duran Duran music so amazing.  It is the blending of different genres, ones that often seem opposite of each other.  As a kid, I was crushed when Roger and Andy left and struggled to love the band in the same way.

As an adult, I embraced the reunion like so many fans did.  It felt like a dream come true.  The Fab Five returns!  It took me until the spring of 2005 to see the original band perform live together and treasured every minute of it.  Likewise, I was crushed when Andy left in the fall of 2006 and wondered once again if my love for the band could last through this trial.

Based on all of that, you might assume that I would be all for Andy’s return in some way, shape or form for the anniversary.  Yet, I’m not.  There are a couple big reasons that this idea makes me very nervous, including my worry about how this would affect all involved, and the acknowledgement of the band’s history .

In case I have not made myself clear, I consider myself an Andy fan and a Duran fan.  Despite that, I like how things are with Duran now.  In my opinion, things with the band have been going relatively well.  When I see the band perform live, I see lots of interactions between the band members and the supporting players.  I see camaraderie.  I see lots of smiles and joking between members.  They seem to be having fun with each other and enjoying their jobs.  More importantly, I see a really tight show.  Just recently, I have had the opportunity to watch some older shows and it is clear that the live performance was not as tight and as solid as it is now.  I cannot imagine that the show would be as fabulous if the band wasn’t happy with how things are right now.  While I can appreciate wanting to acknowledge the past, I worry that Andy’s presence in some way, shape or form would disrupt things with the band.  I also worry that it would disrupt things for Andy.  Would this be good for him?  Yes, I know that some might say that it would.  I don’t know.  Yes, I can imagine that he might make some money through appearing but would that make him happy?  Would it bring up negative emotions?  I worry.

This leads me to the second reason, which is history.  Again, as an Andy fan, I have to acknowledge that it hasn’t worked with him in the band.  Sure, it worked between 1980-1985.  They were young.  There was FAR less water under the bridge.  They had strong managers.  A lot was different then.  It didn’t work when he came back for the reunion.  We all wanted it to be great.  Yet, he left again and I say that not knowing the exact course of action that led to his leaving.  Was it him?  Was it the band?  Was a combination?  I don’t know and I don’t know if it even matters.  I know that it didn’t work.  Why would they want to go through something like that again?  Then, I think of the fans.  Even if Andy came back for ONE concert or to write just a few songs, fans would get their hopes up.  They would start to believe that this temporary-ness would lead to something more permanent, even if that wasn’t the case.  I, for one, do not want to go through that kind of pain and heartache again and I certainly don’t want that for other fans, for the band or for Andy.  The fact of the matter is that I wouldn’t want that for Dom, either.  After all, he came to fill in a huge void and has done it with grace and professionalism.  I don’t think this would be fair to him, either.

I know that my thoughts here are going to be unpopular.  Andy is the sentimental favorite for a LOT of fans.  I know that there are Warren fans out there, too, but Andy represents early Duran.  He was the guitarist when the band broke through and became popular.  A lot of fans haven’t gotten over that loss.  Maybe a lot of fans think that the music was better with him.  I cannot argue against any of all that.  All I can do is express my concern and my thoughts.  I know that this post won’t change anyone’s mind or anyone’s wishes and that’s okay.  I have to say what I think and what I feel.  I needed to express my concern, my fear and those feelings come from nothing but love for Andy and the others as well as for the fans.

-A

Power Station at Irvine Meadows

Some of these dates in history take me right back to childhood, and this one is one of those. On this date in 1985, Power Station played at Irvine Meadows, in Irvine, California.

What is remarkable about this date, at least as far as I’m concerned, is that it was my very first concert. Ever.

There is very little I can share with you about the show, because my memory is horrible. I can remember sitting back pretty far—not quite grass—but certainly not orchestra, and I know that I went with my cousins. That in and of itself is strange, because at the time, I lived in Glendora, and my cousins lived all the way in Van Nuys, which is probably an hour and a half from Irvine.  (I know I fell asleep on the way home from the concert, that is for sure!)

I had spent the week with my cousin Patty, who had a massive crush on John Taylor at the time. Since my particular brand of Taylor was not a member of Power Station (Roger, in case anyone cares!), I pretty much just followed her lead. She was a year older, much more worldly, mature and wicked cool, so I figured she’d just know. Know what, I am not entirely sure….but I just knew she was on to something.  The day before the show, there had been an appearance at a record store in Van Nuys. I remember this because we’d convinced her mom—my aunt—to allow us to take the bus down to the store and wait in line.

I can tell you right now that my mom and dad would have never allowed such a thing. So, it was a good thing I was staying with Patty. Her mom worked during the day, and Patty was on her own. My parents also worked, but somehow, I didn’t have quite the freedom she did. I had a lengthy list of chores to do each day during the summer, and had to answer the phone whenever my mom called (she would ring, hang up and ring again so I’d know it was her) as well as babysit my younger sister – who is five years younger. Patty had none of that. She was free to ride the bus, sit out by the apartment complex pool….and talk to much older men she probably shouldn’t have about things I am positive my parents would have freaked out about.

Maybe my parents had something there, after all.

Anyway, I digress. We had gone to a lot of trouble to bake chocolate chip cookies in the shape of the letters “J” and “T”, with the full intention of taking them to John that day at the signing. I really don’t know what in the hell we were thinking. I suppose we naively thought we’d just walk right up to him with food and that there wouldn’t be a line or security or any of that. I didn’t know any better. I don’t even know how we were thinking we were going to transport the cookies without breaking them while riding the bus and holding our Power Station albums to have signed. In hindsight, it’s a good thing that the cookies were not only too thick and looked nothing like the letters “J” and “T”, they were also slightly burned.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I don’t bake.

We agreed to leave them at home, not embarrass ourselves, and just go to the signing. I can remember how hot it was waiting there. It was all fun and games at first until we realized the line was several blocks long and that unless John was planning an overnighter, he’d never get all the way through the line. We probably should have left much earlier – like the night before – to get a better spot. Even so, teenage optimism prevailed, and we soldiered on. It wasn’t too long before the line seemed to really move, entirely way too fast I might add, and then word got to us that John had just sped off, safely in the back of a limousine.

I felt so dejected that day. It was awful. I didn’t cry or anything, but it was then that I first realized how unfair fandom can be. Even when you have all the information you need, someone is always going to be there first. I don’t think that’s really changed much since 1985. Amanda and I experience it nearly every time we tour. We’ll choose to do one thing, and others will choose another, and typically – we choose wrong. (We are very good at that)  We’re rarely in the right spot at the right time, and while sure, there have been times (some frighteningly recently) where I’ve wanted to kick myself for deciding to drive home rather than use the information I’d been given to go and see if I could find the one person I wanted to see, or turning around to go back to a city we just left because someone tweeted their own whereabouts, overall I just have to laugh.  It’s all luck. Someone is always going to have better luck, more accurate information, or just have “more”.

I’m glad I didn’t give up on being a fan that day. It wasn’t John’s fault, of course, and in some ways – I’d give anything to go back to being that naive, very awkward 14-year-old standing in line for a signing. Sometimes 1985 doesn’t seem that long ago, and then other days, like today, it feels like a lifetime ago.

-R

Mi Vida Loca and John Taylor

Hi everyone! I love it when the day in history gives me something new to learn. Did you know that John wrote a score for a movie? (you probably did, I however…did not.)

On this date in 1994, Mi Vida Loca was released. The movie was directed by Allison Anders, and it is about a group of Mexican-American women in Los Angeles, describing their struggles with gangs, drugs and betrayal.  John wrote a portion of the soundtrack for the film, which was then performed by other artists. A list of the tracks he wrote are as follows:

1 “La Blue Eyes Theme”

  • Written by John Taylor and Jonathan Elias

2 “El Duran Theme”

  • Written by John Taylor
  • Performed by El Chican

3 “Echo Parque”

  • Written by John Taylor
  • Performed by El Chicano

4 “Giggles and Big Sleepy Get Busy”

  • Written by John Taylor
  • Performed by El Chicano

I’ve never checked out this movie, although I’m sure Amanda has. I’m on vacation this week, but I need to find time to see it!

-R

Ultimate Box Set: Side/Solo Project Final Vote

The Daily Duranie has been working to create an Ultimate Duran Duran Box Set.  While Rhonda and I have definite strong opinions about what should be included, we didn’t think that made sense to just have it be from us.  Therefore, we have taken time to ask all of the Duranies who read this blog to help us create it.  The Ultimate Box Set would have multiple categories including:  Singles, Album Tracks, B-Sides/Bonus Tracks, Live Tracks, Side/Solo Project Songs, and Remixes.  So far, readers have chosen 7 tracks from all of the categories except for Side/Solo Projects and Remixes.  The results so far are:

Singles:

  • Planet Earth
  • Save a Prayer
  • Ordinary World
  • Girls on Film
  • Pressure Off
  • Rio
  • New Moon on Monday

Album Tracks:

  • New Religion
  • The Chauffeur
  • Hold Back the Rain
  • Friends of Mine
  • The Man Who Stole a Leopard
  • The Seventh Stranger
  • Paper Gods

B-Sides/Bonus Tracks:

  • Secret Oktober
  • Late Bar
  • Beautiful Colours
  • I Believe/All I Need to Know
  • Salt in the Rainbow
  • Planet Roaring
  • Faster Than Light
  • (Come Up and See Me) Make Me Smile

Live Tracks:

  • New Religion
  • Careless Memories
  • The Chauffeur
  • Rio
  • Wild Boys
  • White Lines
  • Planet Earth

Now, we are ready to finally choose the 7 songs that will represent the best of Duran’s Side and/or Solo Projects.  In case, you want to listen to the choices, I made some playlists on YouTube for all of you:

Arcadia:

Power Station:

John Taylor:

Simon Le Bon:

Dom Brown:

Now, I think we are all ready to pick SEVEN side and solo project songs that should be included on the Duran Duran Ultimate Box Set!!!

-A

You Can’t Laugh All the Time (or can you?)

This is it, the final Paper Gods video blog!  In fact, today you’re lucky because there will be multiple videos for your viewing pleasure.  Watch the videos in the order listed here. Hope you brought your tissues!

 

OK, just kidding about the discussion of Simon’s dancing!  Instead, we’re gonna talk about the top ten funniest (and quite frankly, stupid!) things we’ve done while the band has toured Paper Gods!

 

Pants – Exhibit A

Pants – Exhibit B

It’s been a wild ride. We have laughed until tears slid down our cheeks, sadness from time to time, and enough joy to fuel three years of blogging through the Paper Gods album cycle. Hard to believe this one is in the history books for us with no idea of what is to come—but we’re looking forward to finding out!

We want to thank everyone who has been a part of this crazy trip: Our roomies along the way:Heather, Shelly, Suzie, Lori and Julie, everyone who came to meet ups, people who stopped us to say hello,  people who bought us drinks, and even those people who couldn’t quite figure us out and didn’t always appreciate our point of view.  Each of you made us work harder, strive to be better writers, and kinder people. (still working on some of that, we suppose!)

…and then there’s the band. Naturally, we can’t go without thanking all of you. It is true that your work inspires us in turn. (as do your fashion choices!) We will miss knowing that we have shows in our immediate future, but wish all of you the best. We hope that each of you know that while we will continue to tease you relentlessly, we do it with love, respect, and admiration.  Whether you’re spitting for distance (seriously Simon, did you really think you were gonna hit us in San Francisco??), watching our antics from the stage, or just playing the music that is the soundtrack to our lives, we adore all of you.

Let’s plan on doing this all again….soon!

-A&R

 

Twenty years ago, John plays his first solo gig

I’m struggling this morning. First of all, it’s Monday. Second, in the past 72 hours I have had a bout of food poisoning, had a massive allergy attack, and I’ve gotten a cold. I’d really just rather be sleeping right now.  Today’s blog will be short and sweet.

On this date in 1997, John Taylor was seriously committing himself to going solo. He played at Radio Antenne Bayerne in Stuttgart, Germany.  It was his very first live show as a solo artist.

Flash forward twenty years (yes, twenty!), and he’s back with Duran Duran, getting ready to hit the road for what seems to be the final leg of the Paper Gods tour.

Time flies when we’re all having fun, I guess!  Today’s date in history is a gentle reminder to trust the process. Just when you think all is lost, maybe it’s not after all!

I’m off to begin the week. Happy Monday, everyone!

-R

 

Ultimate Box Set: Side/Solo Projects Part 5

In the last few weeks, our Saturday polls have focused on side projects.  The idea is to pick 7 songs from various side and solo projects each week until we have asked about all of them.  Then, we will have one final poll to pick the 7 side and solo project songs that Duranies believe should be included on the Duran Duran Ultimate Box Set.  So far, we have asked about Power Station, Arcadia, The Devils, TV Mania, Neurotic Outsiders, Dom Brown, and Freebass.

Last week, we started asking about John Taylor’s songs.  Instead of asking about all of John’s songs, I split his long list of songs in half to make it more manageable.  The songs of John’s that people picked last week were:

John Taylor:

  • I Do What I Do
  • Feelings Are Good
  • Always Wrong
  • Anon
  • Don’t Talk Much
  • Losing You
  • Look Homeward Angel
  • Silent Skin
  • Lovers Afternoon

The rest of the possible side/solo project songs are:

Power Station:

  • Some Like It Hot
  • Get It On/Bang a Gong
  • Communication
  • Murderess
  • Harvest for the World
  • Still in Your Heart
  • She Can Rock It

Neurotic Outsiders:

  • Feelings Are Good

Arcadia:

  • Election Day
  • The Promise
  • Goodbye Is Forever
  • The Flame
  • El Diablo
  • Lady Ice
  • Keep Me in the Dark

Dom Brown:

  • Amazing
  • Day Turned Black
  • Crocodile Tears
  • Changing
  • Chocolate Fever

Freebass:

  • Love Is Like Oxygen

This week, then, we will finish voting on John Taylor’s solo songs.  Before you vote, here is a playlist of many of the songs on this poll.  I put as many of John’s songs that I could find on the playlist.  Now, go listen, vote and have fun!  Which of these 7 songs of John’s should be considered for the Ultimate Duran Duran Box Set?

-A

 

Happy Birthday John!

Happy Birthday John!!

So, there are some blogs I feel woefully unqualified to write. A birthday blog for this particular person slides in that general direction from time to time.

First of all, Amanda is the “John-girl” around here. Not that I don’t admire John, but it seems unfair that I get to write for Roger, Dom AND John, you know?  The idea of writing a birthday blog for each member seemed great in year one of the blog. Even years two through five were good. I still had things to say and memories to replay.  But now, I think this is what, year six? I’m going to be honest: I don’t think I know John very well.

Yes, there’s his book. Some might say he wrote a lot in there. (I’m actually one of those people) I felt he exposed himself pretty selflessly.  Even so, I’ve had almost no interactions with him over the years, so I can’t write from personal experience.

I mean, unless you count shows.  John amazes me at shows sometimes, because there I am, one little face in a crowd of thousands, and even when I’ve been back a few rows, sometimes he’ll make eye contact. Unlike with other members of the band – when John is looking at you, you know he’s looking at you.  There was this one time Amanda and I were at the House of Blues in Atlantic City (I hope that’s right. I get this stuff screwed up a lot) and it was during the last leg of Red Carpet Massacre shows here in the US. They were just starting the song Red Carpet Massacre, which happens to be my favorite off of that album. John gets the crowd clapping along, and I started to clap and happened to look up. He caught my eye, and slightly shook his head because, wouldn’t you know it – I was clapping wrong. (I know there’s a lesson for fans in here about paying proper attention at shows…) I watched carefully and started clapping appropriately and received a big grin. It was only later that I was mortified that I had to be taught correctly by John….

There’s that other time at the Sears Center when I tested the line of sight from the stage because I wasn’t quite convinced John could really see all the way to the ninth row. Amanda and I were having the time of our lives that night, dancing and singing to every song as though we’d never gone to a Duran Duran concert before. We were having a blast. I think the band began Electric Barbarella, and I pulled a face. In fairness, it isn’t my favorite song and hey, who can really see us in the ninth row anyway??

Well, I look up, and John Taylor is laughing and looking our way. I don’t think much of it because, seriously, there are eight rows of wonderful people in front of me. He wasn’t looking at us. But then he kind of kept looking and seemed to be at least chuckling, so I did what any normal fan would not do, and stuck my tongue out playfully. I figured that no response would tell me that of course he wasn’t looking at us. Well, he returned the favor.  I laughed. Because really, what could I do?? He caught me fair and square!

Oh, and then there’s Valley Center in 2011. This was just as they were getting themselves back into touring mode after having canceled their UK tour that spring. It was the first show I was going to see them at, and I was pretty emotional that night because for a while there, I really had my doubts about whether Simon would ever really be able to sing the same again. I was worried. Nothing more, nothing less. So that night was different because of my emotions, because Amanda wasn’t with me…and because I also had my less-than-emotional husband with me, and we were in the second row.

By that time, I am pretty sure everyone knew I didn’t love Hungry Like the Wolf…but when they started playing it that night, I know I rolled my eyes, and didn’t really dance much. Well, I was right there in row TWO, and who should come bounding over to Dom’s side of the stage but John. AND Dom. AND Simon. Yes, it was choreographed that way at the time, but during the “Do do do” section of the song (you all know what I mean), John looks down at me, grins like a damn Cheshire cat and sings the line right at me, grinning the entire time.

Ok then, John. Even my husband, who typically doesn’t notice much, noticed. And so did Dom, who openly laughed. There was no way I was going to get away without singing. And let’s face it, John didn’t know that I was sick to death of that song at the time. I’m sure he doesn’t read the blog. He just knew that I was at his show and wasn’t singing along…and he was going to fix it. So he did.

I make sure to sing EVERY song (and clap correctly) when I go to shows now. Lesson learned, point taken.

I don’t know. Fans have often said to me that John doesn’t seem to interact much from the stage. Pretty much everyone complains about his absence from social media, although everyone and their brother seems to think they know exactly why he left. Even with his book, and his book tour, the shows and the things he goes out of his way to do for various charities – and the meet and greets he does for those types of organizations, people say he doesn’t interact. I’ve even said I don’t know him.

The thing is, I think with John, we really do kind of know who he wants us to know. Not everyone is comfortable with that “in your face” constantly kind of atmosphere that goes along with celebrity. John reminds me just a little of myself, in that when I go “on tour” with Amanda, by the time we’ve had a meet up or hung out with people all weekend, or even just all night, I’m ready for some downtime. By the end of a weekend with friends, I’m happy to retreat back into obscurity. It is hard to be “ON” all of the time, and I’m no celebrity. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be in the band and never get away from it.

I think that’s why the boundaries are there, and why someone like John has learned to keep them rock solid. Sure, I miss him on social media, so much so that when DDHQ does tweet a picture or a video or something from him, I love it. It’s not the same as when he’d tweet us directly or whatever, but it’s probably healthier for him, and I respect that.

I look forward to seeing him onstage in a few weeks. Hopefully I will have my clapping and singing up to snuff!  Happy birthday John!!

-R

June 2017 Katy Kafe with John Taylor!

I marvel every single time I type the word “June.” I’m not sure if it’s just me, living in the land of denial that my son graduates from high school on Saturday, or if it is really that I’m shocked time goes by so fast. I would swear it was just March a few days ago.  Either way, it is June, and it is time for the June 2017 Katy Kafe!

By now, our readers know the drill – these are the highlights, not a full transcription. If you really want to hear the whole Kafe, get yourself a membership to DDM. Even on a “paying for college” budget – I manage to put together enough money for my renewal each year, so it can be done!

Each June, it is either Nick or John that joins Katy in the Kafe because, as we all know, they each have a birthday this month. This year, it is John’s turn and Katy wastes no time getting down to business. JT just returned from a trip to Arizona for a family wedding and is relaxing at home in LA.

Memories of the Glass Spider Tour with Bowie

After some discussion of various places they played on this tour, (You can check out the real dates here) John says the experience was priceless. Interestingly enough, Duran Duran and David Bowie never appeared onstage together. The closest was one time when the band was playing Bang A Gong, and David was watching off to the side of the stage.

Wrapping Up Paper Gods

At this moment, it would appear that the Singapore Gran Prix dates are the final ones for Paper Gods. The band wanted to go to South Korea, Japan and of course Australia, but the right opportunity has not presented itself. They are still really trying, but it sounds to me as though this is not going to happen. I know many fans are still holding out hopes for DD to join Chic in Australia, but from the way John spoke, it does not sound likely at this point. He mentioned possibly going out next year, but Nick is less inclined to go from touring, to studio and then back to touring again. As John explained, it’s difficult to be in the studio when you’re constantly tired from touring. I don’t know exactly what kept them from getting to Australia and the Far East this time around, but John says it’s very complicated, and given that I’ve never managed a tour (not many of us have), I’m going to take his word for it!

The upcoming west coast and Canada dates are hallmarked by one very special date in Hawaii – it is somewhere the band has never played, and they are very excited to get there. A night of paradise in paradise. I like the way that sounds! Wish I could be there, but I also wanted to stay married. Go figure.

40th Anniversary Plans

I wish I could say that these “plans” are taking shape. All I gleaned from this Katy Kafe was that they have a whole lot of ideas. It very much reminds me of the Kafes as an album is beginning to be made and LOTS of ideas are thrown out, but we never really know what is going to stick (or was stuck) until we fans get the album in our hands. I suspect the same will hold true for the 40th anniversary.

They do plan to get back into the studio in London before the end of the year, and this does coincide with the 40th anniversary (those are John’s words, not my assumptions). Katy asked if they’d be working on new music or perhaps re-examining old music. John seemed to indicate some of each. “There’s lots of talk and plans. We have to just get to it” (meaning the unreleased material)  He specifically spoke about Reportage, which should thrill some people out there (myself included) For those who are unaware, Reportage is the album they recorded with Andy prior to his leaving – and ended up being shelved. (They released Red Carpet Massacre instead) John says they are “keen to get that (Reportage) out”

He reiterated that the 40th Anniversary celebration is going to roll out over the course of three years, and culminate in the summer of 2020. Get your credit cards and bank accounts ready, folks. This is what we’ve trained for.

Nick & John’s TSP

As I suspected, this has everything to do with the musical that they’ve been working on. Nothing thrills me more to use the word “musical” in a sentence with Nick and John. Yes, it’s true – I am a musical theatre mom, and I can hardly wait to see what they’ve got planned. If they need a choreographer, I know some people. One may or may not be my daughter. She’s good. (Yes, I just plugged my kid. No, I have zero shame.)  So, my suspicion is that those people who were in the studio with them might just be working on a demo soundtrack.

John would love for this to end up being part of the 40th anniversary celebration, and he says it just might be – but he doesn’t want to say more than that.  I could hardly stop myself from jumping out of my chair at those words. LOVE IT. He says he’s really getting into musical theatre – and planned to watch the Tony awards on Sunday night (which was the day this Kafe was taped).

About Those Pre-show Playlists

John explains that because he makes his living in music, it is crucial that he remain on the lookout for music that interests, excites and inspires him. His playlists are mixes of music he’s curious about along with music that he’s discovered that maybe he was unaware of before. He uses the example of Cream, which was a 60s/70s group with Eric Clapton. He’d never really listened to them before, heard them somewhere and has really been listening now because they were the precursor to so many other bands – they were pre-Led Zeppelin, for instance.

John says, tentatively, that there isn’t a whole lot of new live music he’s really into (for the summer), but that there’s a few festivals he wishes he could go to, but they don’t coincide with DD’s touring. I got the feeling that John didn’t want to go into what he doesn’t like, rather choosing to focus on the positives, so he didn’t really say much. Katy responded exactly as I would have (given the opportunity), as she said that she’s beginning to find the whole “new music discovery” thing to take effort these days, whereas she might not have said the same five years ago. She explained that every now and then she turns on a station like Z100 (I am assuming this is top 40) and she won’t like what she hears (Oh, I feel you Katy) and she’ll wonder if she’s just getting old. (Same here) She said that she’s looking forward to when her kids are older and can introduce her to some new music.

I have to say that yes, as a parent of older kids – it’s been really nice having them to point out new music. Saves me a little trouble, but by the same token I’ve learned that my kids have wildly different tastes from me. Not that this is a bad thing – I’ve learned to have an appreciation for anything from dubstep to EDM from Gavin (and now he’s into a lot of really hard rock and even metal – NOT hair bands but true metal from the 80s, which is amusing), and Heather tends to like a much wider variety, probably because she uses so many different types of music for dance. I agree with what John says about it taking work, but that if you’re willing to put the work in to finding it – there’s a lot of great music out there. My issue is time. I want more of it. 🙂

I am really kind of sick of 80s music, I mean – it’s great and all but there’s a lot more to the world, and yet to set out to discover something new takes time. I feel like I’ve spent quite a bit of time on older music – The Beatles and the first British Invasion, for instance, and now I’m looking for something different.  The “new” music of today does very little to excite me, but I feel like I’ve just got to keep looking.

Thankfully, The Killers are releasing a new single tomorrow and a new album in September, but this is a Duran Duran fan blog….

This wraps up the June 2017 Katy Kafe! John will be back in the UK for his birthday on June 20th, and back in the Kafe in Autumn. Let’s hope he’ll have more news about this 40th Anniversary by then!

-R