Tag Archives: Katy Kafé

September 2018 Katy Kafe with Roger

Happy Monday!  As the week begins with a roar, there is a small matter I didn’t get to last week. It is the September 2018 Katy Kafe with Roger!

Roger loves the month of September. He appreciates the change in weather, the crispness of Autumn and the excitement with Back-To-School. Katy, on the other hand, isn’t a fan. Apparently Autumn only beckons Winter. (You see, I live in Southern California. “Autumn” isn’t even really a thing here until late November…and don’t get me started on “Winter”) She mentions the High Jewish holidays, and the return to school.  I get all of that. I love the idea of Autumn or Fall, however, all that really means for me are very windy and smoggy days ahead.  There are no boots, sweaters, or apple cider donuts here until the rest of you are complaining about blizzards and white-out conditions. We do have apple country, but it’s typically still 90 degrees and windy outside as you’re picking apples. Not exactly the same… I love the idea of back-to-school, but I’m not a fan of schedules and homework. Or homeschool planning…don’t tell my kids!!

This month, Katy collected questions from fans on Instagram and Twitter. I have to say that the questions this time are very creative and it was enjoyable to hear Roger explain his answers!  I can’t do the Kafe justice in this way, so do yourself a favor and join DDM to have access to the full Kafe. Otherwise, you’re just reading the highlights here!

How do you (Roger) keep your hands and wrists healthy from tendonitis?

Roger is lucky, because he doesn’t suffer from tendonitis the way many other drummers might. He does have trouble with his right knee (they can even go out and need replaced so he is very careful – but), but he is hoping to be able to keep playing for a few more years.

I was about to interject with “It had better be for a LOT more years, Roger” when Katy said it for me, citing Charlie Watts. Amen, Katy!!!

What artist(s) alive or deceased would be your dream collaboration?

Roger cites David Bowie for a deceased artist – that shouldn’t be a surprise to any Duranie at this point. The band saw Bowie as their hero in many aspects, and yet they never had a chance to work with him, unfortunately.

As an artist who is still living, Roger mentions London Grammar. Apparently Simon loves them as well, and Katy wrote it down for later…you never know!!

What habits do you have before, during and/or after a show?

Roger could think of only one true habit that he does before a show, and that is to warm up in a back room with John and Dom. I can remember when this started becoming a “thing” , and it’s nice to hear that they still try to set aside that time to warm-up even now. He continues by saying (tongue in cheek) that they don’t do any chanting or prayer circles just yet!

What Duran Duran songs do you recommend for a beginning drummer to play along with?

Roger has two: Planet Earth & Rio.

What were your favorite scenes for the BBC special that was recently aired?

Roger appreciated going back to see where he originally joined the band. He remembers his dad bringing his drum set in the back of the car, and then John bounding down the steps to help him get it out of the car and help him put it together. He said it was cathartic to go back to Birmingham.

Note from me: it was also cathartic for me to go and visit – if anyone EVER has the opportunity to go, they should. The entire experience made me see the band and their career so much differently. It added an entirely different dimension to my vision of who they are, and I will never forget it!) 

What did your parents think when they saw you on Top of the Pops?

They were over the moon. Roger explains that Top of the Pops was a show that everyone watched together. Families gathered just to watch the show together. If you made it onto TOTP, you’d “made” it. He mentions that he was nervous, even though the show was prerecorded and they lip-synched. It was just that big of a deal. I think that this show must have been similar to our American Bandstand here in the US.

What song would you like to play in KAABOO Cayman that you did not play on the Paper Gods tour?

He mentioned both My Own Way and Hold Back the Rain.

If you aren’t aware, Roger (along with John!) was included in a list of 175 Brummies that Inspire. Katy asked him how he felt about that.

Roger said it was “so cool” to have been chosen. He is very proud of where they came from, and very grateful. Not a bad accolade to mention, really!

In wrapping up the September 2018 Kafe, Katy mentions that she knows he doesn’t have any scoops or exciting things to tell her, because there are no surprise shows or studio time coming up. Roger clarifies that actually, there are plans to go back into the studio during the next few weeks. I have to think though that this may be for a specific “thing” as opposed to beginning work on an album, and that’s purely because of the way the topic was brought up. Nonetheless, any news is welcome, and when Roger peeks back into the Kafe in December, maybe there will be more to say then!

-R

May 2018 Katy Kafe with John Taylor

I’m super excited that I get to listen to this month’s Katy Kafe!  I’m sure that it has nothing to do with the fact that it features John Taylor.  Nope.  No way.  The band member doesn’t matter.  Ha!  Buy that one, I’ll tell you another.  Despite my excitement, I feel like I should apologize in advance.  It is the end of a very long week trying to prepare for my evaluation at work.  Anyway, I will accept responsibility for any error I make in response to what John talks about.  Thus, as always, I recommend going over to DuranDuranMusic and listen for yourself.  By the way, this month’s edition is like last month’s in which Katy had asked for questions on Twitter and then went on to pass some on to John.

40th Anniversary

Well then.  Katy started out with a bang by asking John about plans for the 40th Anniversary.  John mentioned that there is a “shopping list” of possible events or things to celebrate, which includes museum shows, performances with orchestras, and even items like cologne.  I’m not kidding. John did state that the anniversary of Simon joining the band is the summer of 2020 and that they have mixed feelings about the anniversary like people “over 30” have about birthdays.  After all, they have always tried to look forward and not backwards.  All of this said, it sounds like Rhonda and I better start saving as those type of shows sounds amazing!

B-Sides/Lesser Known/Played Tracks

John was asked if they would consider playing B-sides and lesser known tracks.  I appreciated that he acknowledged why a lot of fans would want that but did admit that it would be a lot of work especially considering that they would want it to be just as multi-media as other shows.  John admits that he isn’t really all that excited to play some of them, including one that I would love to hear, Late Bar.  He much prefers when they have new music to play.  John did mention what I thought sounds like a cool idea, which is to have each band member pick a lesser known track then rotate those four songs each night.  Personally, I think this is a fabulous idea.  For one, it would make a lot of fans happy to hear a lesser known song.  For the other, it would encourage fans to go to more than one show if they wanted to see/hear all of the lesser known tracks chosen.

Most Under-appreciated Duran Album?

John’s choice?  Big Thing.  His reasoning is that it is a real journey that has all types of songs on it.  Katy liked that answer as do I.

Proud Bass Lines?

Which songs is John really proud of his bass playing?  He really likes the first three albums as far as not only his bass but everything.  In more modern times, he likes what was done for Paper Gods as it was a combination of the modern day synth bass with the “John Taylor sound” that worked well.

What advice would he give to himself?

After pondering the question for awhile, he stated that everyone has a responsibility to be the best person possible especially if you had a good foundation, which he includes loving parents and a good education.  This means that people should not waste their lives.  Words of wisdom from Mr. Taylor.

Vegas Residency

According to John, the band would consider a residency in Vegas.  John really loves the idea of residencies.  Very much noted as I would love that, too!  That said, he acknowledged that it would be more difficult for the rest of the band since they live in the UK.

First Song to Play?

What were the first songs that John learned to play?  The list includes some classic punk songs like Anarchy in the UK by the Sex Pistols, White Riot by the Clash and Boredom by the Buzzcocks.

Musical Update

First, John hopes it comes out for the 40th anniversary (summer of 2020).  (Psst…me, too!)  Another wish is that people would want to dance to it.  “The style of music is going to be very familiar to Duran fans,” he said.  Well then.  I was on board before hearing this but now…I’m super excited about it.  Will I have to save money to go somewhere to see this, too?  Of course, he reminds us all that the music will still be different since people will be singing the songs  that we don’t know as characters in a narrative.  I’m still super excited.

What JT solo songs could be included in a Duran show?

Before I even heard John’s answer, I thought of about five myself.  I know that there are still a lot of fans who haven’t heard his solo stuff or don’t love it.  I cannot help but feel like they are missing out on some really good, heartfelt stuff.  The first song that John mentions is a Power Station song, Lonely Tonight.  He goes on to mention Air Miles, which he believes Duran could take to a whole new level.  I concur.

What motivates and inspires JT to keep making music?

John is constantly looking for inspiration and to keep his passion alive.  Sometimes, he just wants to be done as it is hard to keep going and keep reinventing.  Nick, though, is always motivated to keep making music, which helps him.

Next Album Style?

John claims that it won’t be a “million miles” from Paper Gods.  They don’t allow themselves to sway too far from what a Duran song should include but John would like to expand that a bit.  That said, he is excited by whatever they come up with.  He hopes that someone comes into the studio with them that will drive them like Mark Ronson or Nile Rodgers.

Overall, I absolutely loved listening to this Kafe.  John was in good spirits, open with his feelings and thoughts.  It made me want to turn on a little Paper Gods or some old b-sides.  Even more importantly, I I’m so looking forward to the future plans for the band.

-A

April 2018 Katy Kafe with Roger

I have been so busy that I missed the news that a brand new Katy Kafe had been posted this week.  It makes sense since Roger’s birthday is coming up this week.  (Happy Early Birthday, Roger!)  As always, I’ll give it a listen (I suffer greatly for this gig.  Not.) and provide some of my thoughts about what I heard here.  As always, I will not be sharing word-for-word what was said.  Nope.  If you want to hear it all, head to DuranDuranMusic and log in with your membership.

Trip to Peru

Katy opened up the Kafe with a discussion about Roger’s recent trip to Peru to see his wife’s family who lives there.  Apparently, he enjoys traveling there in April because the weather is beautiful and people spend time on the beaches.  (I wouldn’t know anything about this as I just had two winter storms this past week.)  One thing I did learn was that Roger studied French in school but struggles with languages.  (This I can relate to.)  His son, Julian, is trying to learn the language, too, with the idea that he will be bilingual.  Very cool!

Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame:

As soon as Katy mentioned that the recent induction to this year’s crop of Rock ‘n’ Roll members, I took note as this is a topic that seems to come up every year in Duranland.  She then asked if this was a goal of the band.  Roger’s reaction is what I expected with the idea of if it happens, great, but if not, it won’t change anything.  I can understand that sentiment.  Plus, it is probably the best way to approach awards.  Katy thinks it will happen as more New Wave artists are getting in.  Interesting to note that Roger definitely thinks that Depeche Mode should be in.

Elliot’s project:

Roger’s son, Elliot, has a new project, working with Denis O’Regan who was the photographer on David Bowie’s ’83 or ’84 Tour.  Recently, Denis found a lot of backstage photos and Roger’s son is helping to put these photos together in a book.

Return to the Studio:

When will Duran be back in the studio?  Roger’s response, “Definitely this year.”  That said, there is no specific date planned yet.  Apparently, the band is enjoying the down time, which I cannot blame them.  Roger is starting to look forward to returning to the studio now that he has had a break.

Record Store Day:

Roger expressed some excitement about the release of Duran Duran Live at the Budokan, but seemed to be more thrilled with the live DVD that will be coming out about that show/venue.  This did not surprise me as the whole show was shown on Japanese TV.

Birthday Plans:

Roger plans on spending his birthday at home with his family.  Interestingly enough, Roger claims that people who have the Taurus astrological sign do not make a big deal of their birthdays.  I’m not sure about that as a fellow Taurus.

This Kafe was not necessarily filled with a ton of news or insight but it was still enjoyable.  Again, I wish Roger a happy early birthday!!!

-A

John Taylor’s 2017 Year-End Katy Kafe!

Another day, another year-end Kafe!

I missed this one yesterday, my apologies…but if you haven’t heard it yet, it’s new to you!  John Taylor stopped into the Kafe yesterday to round out his 2017. I suspect John was fully prepared because he took no time in zooming through what I would call his “digest” retrospect of 2017.

World Event

Not Brexit, not Trump, but the Swedish church (and I appreciate that!). Did you know that a few weeks back, the Church of Sweden announced that they would effectively be taking gender identity out of its teachings? Essentially saying that God is God. It is not male, nor female. I remember hearing this news exactly ONE time, and it was merely whispered in passing here in the US.  Not exactly headline news, and yet at least in my opinion, it absolutely should be. I’m glad John mentioned it!

Personal Event

Have you heard Zoe Nash’s new single, “Rather Die”? Better yet, have you seen the video?  John (and of course Gela as well) are very proud of Zoe’s work, and last week, Duran Duran even helped to promote “Rather Die” on social media (“relentlessly”, John adds).

As a parent myself, I get it. How could I not? Zoe has quite the voice, and an attitude to match. I’ll say this much, if she were once shy, you’d never know it now! Good for her.

Movie

John says he is a British Boy at heart, and he loved Dunkirk. He also really liked Blade Runner – calling it a boy’s movie.

I still haven’t seen either one. I’ve got work to do.

Book

History of Wolves, by Emily Fridlund. Just in case anyone was wondering – this novel is definitely not about wolves.  It isn’t a study of nature, at least not the nature and behavior of actual wolves.

Television

John mentions three shows: Mindhunter, Godless, and The Crown.

I haven’t seen Mindhunter or Godless, but The Crown is my favorite show. I watched the entire series, and I wondered if it would seem “as good” for those who live in the UK. I mean, I’m American, and so we have this strange fascination with anything “Royal” I suppose. Just speaking for myself, I own entirely too many books about the history of English royalty, and even more telling, I own too many books specifically about their jewelry collection!  So while yes, that series speaks to my inane curiosity, I had wondered how a British person might feel about it. Apparently the show is really good no matter where you’re from!

I have to laugh and make a comment – it is very clear that Katy loves Stranger Things! In both of the Katy Kafes I’ve written about this week, she brought up Stranger Things and asked John and Roger if they’d seen it. I know a lot of fans love that show, but I didn’t take to it at all. Not my thing, I guess, even with Girls on Film in the soundtrack!

Music

This is the one topic John seemed to struggle with and didn’t have a clear answer. He says that 2017 wasn’t a great year for him with music (meaning finding music that he really loved), but then says that’s really his fault – he just didn’t listen enough. He does give quick mention to the newest Jay-Z (4:44) album, though.

DD Moment

These are the topics that always interest me most. I mean, sometimes I get great book and movie suggestions, but truthfully as a fan and a blog writer, I do like knowing how the band feels about their year. It is great insight!

John mentions exactly what I would have guessed, saying that the crowd in Buenos Aires for Lollapalooza was “massive”, which it certainly was. Makes you wonder why they don’t play that country more often, really.

But then, John takes a turn and speaks a little more personally. He mentions the loss of Simon’s mom, whom he says, “She was mom to all of us”. He talks about how Simon was so brave to share his emotions during such a difficult time, and I agree. This inspired the band, particularly because as most know – this is not the type of band to come out and do that. (Be so open on an emotional level)

I’d have to agree wholeheartedly. I think that’s also why it struck me. Duran Duran doesn’t “do” that sort of thing on the same level that other bands might. They are British, and I think that’s a cultural thing  for them in the same way that my husband’s family do not talk about “feelings”. Ever. They stick to shallow pleasantries, and for someone like myself, who wears her cold, dead, heart on her sleeve (pure sarcasm right there), it is seen as an inappropriate weakness that makes me “less-than”.  Yay! I digress… Back to Duran Duran, they have also been celebrity and elevated to God-like status for so long, that they’ve had to protect themselves along the way. Hide the “real” you, make up your own fact cache (sound familiar?), hell – even go by a stage name, because the person you are on that stage isn’t who you really are otherwise – all of that was left behind when Simon walked to the microphone and told us about his mom, and sang Ordinary World.

Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t take that moment lightly. That was a side of Simon I’d never really seen (although I will say that one single moment when he came to see us outside of the studio in 2011 and told us about his voice and cancelling the tour was close).  That beautifully vulnerable moment came from such pain. I won’t forget. I can’t.

John also mentions the show at Budokan in Japan with Nile. They remember that Budokan was the place where Bernard Edwards played his final show and ultimately died, and John says that he finds those moments important. He explains that they’ve been playing these songs for a very long time now, and as a band (and probably personally as well) they have to find “new levels of meaning” all of the time.

I would think that most fans have some understanding of that and can relate. I certainly can. I see so many of their songs, the mainstays in their set, so differently now than I did even two years ago. That alone has been a fantastic experience.

Finally for this topic, John brings up being able to experience Japan with his daughter Atlanta. He says that going on that trip with her made him see Japan as though it was the first time again, and you can hear the love and wonder in his voice. I loved it!

2018

John says he’s got an open mind about next year. Unlike previous years where he already knew they had a set schedule, it sounds like 2018 will bring a little more flexibility when it comes to time. He talks about the continuing work on the musical he is working on with  Nick, although he isn’t sure if that will come to stage in 2018, and then he also mentions the studio with the band.

Don’t get TOO excited, Duranies. While John says he is looking forward to getting back in and writing, and that the band has been talking about the studio, they are doing it in a “casually fluid” sort of way.

In other words, I wouldn’t get your lawn chairs set out on the sidewalk out in front of the studio just yet, unless you rather enjoy sitting through all of winter waiting for them to arrive.

-R

Roger Taylor’s Year End Katy Kafe 2017

So today brought a new Katy Kafe in the 2017 Year End series.  I was thrilled to listen, because that meant I didn’t have to be creative and  come up with a topic for today!

Like me, Roger is stressed as the countdown to Christmas looms on. We have a few of those “XX Days Til Christmas” calendars around here. They were so cute back when I bought them. Apparently I started a bit of a collection without even thinking.  My youngest LOVES to change the number of days on every single one of them. In fact, this year is the first that I can remember her being quite so into it.  Me?  I’d like to gather them all up, go outside, toss them into a pile, generously pour lighter fluid over the top, light a match, and then do a victory dance.

Yeah, it’s been one of those Decembers. I need a break from resumes, jobs, cats and dogs, orthodontists…and vehicles.

Roger has been looking for an Action Man toy (think GI Joe if you’re in the US) for his son. I’ve been looking for a specific Pokemon game for the Nintendo Switch.  His toy is no longer being made….and mine is just out of stock everywhere. Santa is so screwed this year. Good times.

This brought Katy to discussing the Year End categories with Roger.

World Event

As Roger said, in the US – we talk about Trump. In the UK, they discuss Brexit. It would seem that Roger is as tired of Brexit not being settled as I might be about my country’s politics. I get it…except that I think in both cases, we’ve got quite a while before anything is really and truly “settled”.  Good luck, Roger.

Movie

Dunkirk.  This is a movie I haven’t seen, but I was intrigued by what Roger had to say about it. Katy asked if there was violence, and he said there wasn’t much, and that the enemy – in this case the Germans – were not even shown. I may have to relent the next time my husband suggests this as a movie choice, darn it!

Book

Roger said that he read Steve Jones’ biography Lonely Boy while on part of the tour this year, and he said it was excellent, and he couldn’t put it down. I usually enjoy reading autobiographies, but this is one I haven’t read yet. Anyone?

TV

Roger isn’t much of a television watcher, but said The Crown was suggested to him and he really enjoys it. Anyone who has seen my Twitter knows that I’m a big fan of The Crown. It is easily my favorite “television” program…so much so that after I binged on the second season (Hey, I was sick with the flu for an entire weekend!), I went back to rewatch it all from the first episode!

Music

I don’t know about other fans, but I’m always curious about what the band is listening to…because I’m usually listening to them. I’m not saying I never find new bands I enjoy, but somehow I think that maybe by getting insight into what inspires them, maybe I’ll have a hint as to what they’re going to stumble into recording next. (My theory hasn’t worked to enlighten me one bit as of yet, but onward and upward, I say!)

In any case, Roger has loved London Grammar, and Stevie Wonder this past year. He did mention one other band – but I didn’t catch the name. Epic failure on my part.

DD Moment

I truly thought he was going to say Argentina, but instead he said Electric Picnic in Ireland. He commented that they hadn’t played there in a while, it was a Sunday night, and there were still many people there, which excited him.

Personal Moment

Roger had a DNA test done this year! (me too, although I’m still waiting for my results) I think we should all sit down, because it turns out that he is 50% English.  I’m sure he must have been shocked when he got word of the results.

Ok, I’m kidding. He’s also 26% Scandinavian, 12% NW European, along with Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Jewish and even Eastern European.    I don’t know how different that is from what he originally thought, but the idea of being able to send in for these DNA tests is very cool.

2018

Roger says that he is looking forward to getting back into the studio, saying that they’re ready. Katy mentioned the date in Dubai, and Roger said that they probably were not going to do a lot more dates beyond that, which seemed a little different from what we had been hearing previously, given that next year marks the beginning of #DD40. If you’ve been observing this band for very long, you know that things change constantly – at least by the time the fans get wind of the official “word”. Nothing should surprise fans now, and if the band decides to dedicate next year purely to studio-time, so be it. Roger commented that he didn’t think there was anywhere left to tour, followed up quickly by lamenting that he was sure there would be people saying “Wait, you didn’t come to Iceland!”  Or Australia, or most of Europe, as the case seems to be.

Roger closed with wishing everyone happy holidays, and thanking everyone for the ongoing support. We’ll hear from him again in April, as he joins Katy in the Kafe for his birthday!

-R

 

November 2017 Katy Kafe with John Taylor!

Not much makes me happier during a lull than an invitation to listen to a shiny brand new Katy Kafe pop up in my news feed! This month, John takes a quick time out to chat with Katy, and I’ve got the highlights from the November 2017 Katy Kafe for you. Keep in mind, this is purely what I picked out, and with DD40 coming up – it might be time to get a membership to DDM so that you can stay up with all of the news that is sure to come!

What’s happening?

John comes to us from “the studio” in London, where he is working with Nick on a side project. Now whether this side project is the musical they’ve mentioned before, or something else, I’m not sure. John just says “it’s very different from what they’ve done in Duran Duran”…and I guess we’ll have to wait to hear more about it.

He mentions that they are going to be in Moscow (which they were earlier in the week) for the BRAVO award announcements where the band got back together and performed.

Ring in the New Year, Vegas-style

Katy also mentioned the upcoming Eve before New Years Eve show in Las Vegas, and asked John if he likes performing on New Years Eve. Emphatically, John answers with a quick, “YES” saying that he likes not having to worry about what he is going to do to entertain himself that night, and then almost just as quickly he adds a hasty, “but this is not on New Years Eve, it is the 30th, which means New Years Eve is still a problem that will have to be worked out.” Katy asks the question I was wondering myself, and that was whether or not John would stay in Vegas for New Years, to which he said he doesn’t know yet.

Apparently, Duran Duran has played on New Years Eve quite a bit over the years, citing the Savoy show in ’82 or ’83, and then the shows they did just outside of Washington DC last year in National Harbor. The band likes being on stage for New Years, and well….we really kind of like having them there, too!

There was a quick mention of whether this was really a final, final, Paper Gods date and John corrects Katy, saying that no, Paper Gods is finished. This is a standalone date. That leads to the obvious (Well, it’s obvious to me, anyway) follow-up about the set list. Will it change? John contends that they have to “err on the side of crowd favorites”. So, if you went to any of the Paper Gods shows and enjoyed hearing songs like Rio, Hungry Like the Wolf, Girls on Film, and any of the rest of those hits that have been in previous set lists, there is good news: you’re gonna love this one too! He does say that it might be less interesting for diehard fans – and while I can’t disagree, I can say this: most of us already know this, and guess what? WE BUY TICKETS ANYWAY.  Why? Because it is exactly the type of party we all want to be at, and the party is what we make it!

Just imagine what we’d do when/if one of them came out and said it would be a show that no diehard should miss?!?

I shudder to consider the stampede…or how Ticketmaster might “handle” the demand.  Moving on…

What about 2018?

Here is what I find most interesting about this band: every single band member has a different story about the studio, and it’s comical! Since August, I have heard they’re going into the studio at the end of the year for something “fun” from Roger, something about going in after the new year from Simon, and now John says they’re “hoping” to go back in…with no real time specified.

So I don’t think anyone really knows. And that’s fine. Odd, but fine.

John does say that an album next year is unlikely. Given my experience as a fan of this band, I’d go one farther and say it’s nearly impossible. I’d be shocked, probably to the point of needing oxygen, if the band actually came out with even ONE SONG this year, much less an entire album.

In the meantime, John says they’re talking about the possibilities for recording a new album, including who they might be looking to collaborate with, or where they will record – insinuating that perhaps London might not be the birthplace for the next one.

This led to a question from Katy who asked if the band were to stumble upon that perfect song right away, would they release a stand-alone single or just wait for the album. Speaking purely for himself, John said maybe – citing that the marketing isn’t very good for one song. You don’t get TV or magazines for a single song, typically, so the promotion isn’t quite there. He surmises that they just have to be open to whatever happens.

Paper Gods

Looking back over Paper Gods, Katy wants to know if there are any songs that John wishes they had played. He mentions two that he wishes they had played more: “Universe Alone”, which they played towards the very end of the tour (and I have often wondered why they waited so long), and “You Kill Me with Silence”, which they only played once, at the Jimmy Kimmel show in Los Angeles.  He says that it is hard to find a spot for mid tempo songs in the live show because you only want 2 or 3 of them.  I get that, although I think YKMWS was overall a difficult song for Simon because of the wide vocal range it requires.

John says that he still feels the album was the best since their reunion, but quickly says that he knows they always say that. (and they do, but I get it. Besides, if you didn’t think you were improving as a band, wouldn’t you have quit by now?? Funny how clearly it all makes sense now as opposed when I first asked about why they say that!)

I know there are fans out there that completely disagree, and some that herald Paper Gods as being the best the band has ever done. There is no accounting for personal taste, I suppose. John adds that he doesn’t want to put down the others, citing both AYNIN and of course, RCM. I’ll just say that we all have our favorites, and from the outside looking in, I think the band learned a lot from Paper Gods. They grew professionally, and perhaps personally. That’s not a bad thing after thirty-five years in the industry. John ends by saying that while the album “took some doing”, they’re all “quite proud” of something that is definitely a “Duran Duran album”.  A thought that is neither stupid, nor self-indulging. John is right when he says it ticks off all of the boxes of what one would expect from Duran Duran, whether it is your favorite album or a little less-than. It’s quintessentially Duran, and we like that!

Simple, short and sweet – John bids his farewell until the year-end Kafe, which we are rapidly approaching. Does not seem possible!

-R

 

 

 

 

 

October Katy Kafe with Simon

This week, DuranDuranMusic released the latest Katy Kafe.  Of course, because it is October, it featured one Mr. Simon Le Bon as he celebrates a birthday this month.  As always, we listened to the Kafe and then decided to share our thoughts here.  Unlike normal, we listened to the Kafe together and decided to record our conversation about it for a little video blog.  As you might imagine, we can talk for a long time about Duran Duran and this Kafe gave us plenty of topics to discuss.  Some of them include the anniversaries of both Big Thing and Medazzaland, the end of the Paper Gods tour including tracks from the album live, b-sides, studio plans and more.  While we cover quite a bit of material in the video, we certainly do not talk about every little thing in the Kafe.  If you want to hear all of it and we know that you do, we recommend running over to DDM and getting yourself a membership!

After listening to the Kafe yourselves and our reaction to it, what did you think?

-A

September Katy Kafe with Roger!

We got a birthday present of sorts this week!  Yes, a new Katy Kafe was posted on DuranDuranMusic, the band’s official fan community website.  This month features our favorite drummer, Roger Taylor!  So, I was forced (yeah…sure) to sit down, take a listen and give a little report about it on here.  As always, I’m giving some of the highlights along with some of my thoughts about those highlights.  In no way, shape or form will this blog post include everything that was mentioned.  If you want to hear the whole thing (and I know you do), head over to DDM and treat yourself to a membership.

Little Mini-Tour

Katy started the conversation with a question about the current mini-tour that the band is on.  Roger went through each show and stated how great each of them were but then commented about how the band is on their way to Singapore this week.  He told a lovely story about talking with his mother and explaining that this is the end of the tour.  Her response is one echoed by a lot of fans with something like “you keep saying that!”  Indeed, they have!  Katy mentioned the Hawaii show and indicated that there might be a contest about which states they have not played in.  Do your research now, people!  They finished up this part of the conversation with some discussion about the Asian dates.  Apparently, the band could attend the Grand Prix, if they have want.  (That’s an image!)  Roger is looking forward to Japan as they haven’t been there for 9 years.  Katy pushed him to reminisce in the early trips to Japan where Roger described it as an “intense” type of “fandom”.

Anniversary of Paper Gods

When asked about Paper Gods, Roger mentioned that the process took a long time but it was a creative time period resulting in one of their best albums in a “long time”.  (I always want to ask what that means.  How long is he thinking?  What other albums is he comparing?)  He also said that he would gladly work with Mark Ronson, Nile Rodgers and Mr. Hudson again.  Mr. Hudson got credit to taking the album into a modern, contemporary, cooler direction, according to Roger.

Future Plans

The biggest piece of news is that Duran is planning to enter the studio before the end of the year!  Yet, it won’t necessarily be an album but entering for a little bit of “fun”!  (That caught my attention!  I wonder what the heck they are up to!  Guesses????)

Appreciation

Roger stated that the band appreciates that they are still going and that they have the fans that they do, which is a really nice way to end a Kafe!  We appreciate you right back, Roger!

Overall, there wasn’t a lot of meat to this Kafe, other than the big news at the end.  The band will be returning to the studio for something.  Roger did say something about new music, but then also said that it might not be a new album.  All of that intrigues me.  What do the rest of you think that could mean?!

-A

August 2017 Katy Kafe with Simon!

I took some time this morning to listen to the August 2017 Katy Kafe with Simon.  It was a very different sort of Kafe from any other I’ve listened to over the years in some respects, and I would encourage any other Duranie to take a listen. If you really want to know who Simon is – not the guy who just performs on stage and looks great in the photos – but SIMON himself, now his your chance. As always, these are the highlights, but if you want to hear the Kafe for yourself, you should get a DDM membership.

Simon’s Mom

There is just no way to get past the deep sense of loss in this Kafe. The Simon we hear is not the bright, happy, caffeinated or energized Simon that normally shows up. He is dealing with one hell of a loss, and as he correctly says, “I will never get over it, I just have to get used to it.”  That is absolutely, 100% correct. There are still days,  nine years after we said our goodbyes, when I desperately need to talk to my dad, and I can’t. The pain is still ridiculously present, and sometimes – particularly in those moments (like yesterday afternoon) when I really needed him – the pain rises right back to the surface. It is very hard, and he is right, there’s no way to prepare for it. I don’t know if Simon’s mom was ill like my dad was, but even though I knew what the inevitable end would bring, the finality is just unbearable.  It’s permanent.  This is not a club that anyone wants to join, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, either. It’s inevitable, but nobody wants to be here.

It’s very hard (and yet easy at the same time) to pretend I’m reaching out to Simon somehow on this blog – I mean, the audacity of me to assume he reads, right? I would just want him to know that I get it. Many fans do. And I still think he was incredibly brave to stand up on stage and sing Ordinary World. I could not have done it. I have a hard enough time baring my soul through my typed words, much less showing them live, in person. I couldn’t even look at him while he sang – too painful.

I also felt that while Katy was sympathetic, she was uncomfortable and wanted to move on to easier subjects. I’m sure she wanted to protect Simon’s feelings, and let’s face it – Duran Duran is supposed to be a party band and it’s hard to portray that when the lead singer sounds depressed.  The balance between real life and stage, I guess.

360 Videos

Did anyone see the videos the band posted for Duran Duran Appreciation Day?

Paper Gods 360

Hungry Like the Wolf 360

They are worth watching, but unless you have a VR headset, your best bet for watching is your phone. Pull up the videos, put them on full screen and watch with your phone horizontally.  Can I just say that it’s kind of cool to be able to see yourself in the audience? It’s like having an out-of-body experience!

I actually have access to a VR headset (special shout out to Gavin for letting mom borrow his!), and watched the videos. Gavin’s headset is  an early version, so it’s a bit wonky, but I got the general idea.  Normally I would have almost zero interest in that sort of thing, but it’s Duran Duran, and how often am I really going to be able to be IN one of their videos?  Definitely worth watching!

Simon, on the other hand, is not really into VR. He prefers not to worry about cameras when they are filming, because he sees his job, every single night, as playing for the people who paid to see them. He feels strongly that when the band films, the cameras have to fit in with that environment, and not the other way around. The rapport has to be with the audience, and not the camera.

Work with Nick Wood

Early this summer, Simon went with Nick Wood to Cannes for a conference/film festival for commercial music.  They gave a talk, and  filmed a video for Closer to my Bed. Syn also won an Emmy for a spot they did on CNN.  Not bad work for a Duran Duran “break”!!

Coming to the end of Paper Gods

There are seven more dates, including Croatia, Ireland, Italy, Singapore and Japan, and then the Paper Gods album cycle and touring will be complete. Simon sounds bittersweet as he describes this album as being the most exciting in years, and certainly “the best since Rio”.  He talks about the huge success they had with it in the US, but that he is sad they are not taking the tour to Australia. (according to Simon the dates just never worked out)

Katy asks Simon how he closes out a project, whether or not he reflects or looks to what is coming next.  Simon responds by saying that something isn’t “done” until it is done, and then whatever is coming down the road isn’t here until it gets here. He says it is important for him to have clear lines, and I think staying completely present in the moment he is in must be what guides him, as well.

So what IS going to be next for the band?  Well, they have some time blocked out to be in the studio “quite soon” after touring. Of course in one breath Simon says that, in the next Katy says that she is “sworn to secrecy” about that studio time – and Simon tries to back up saying “they MIGHT” go in the studio. Sounds to me as though they’re going in the studio for sure, but that no one really knows what, if anything, might happen when they’re in there.

Katy asked about working with collaborators, like Mark Ronson, Ben Hudson and even Nile again. Simon sounded like he was enthusiastic to work with Ben and Mark for sure, but as we all know – it’s the beginning of who-knows-what. Chances are, everything will change and turn completely on its head before it is all said and done, so I caution: nothing is in stone until you’re holding whatever will come next in your hands. Consider all possibilities, but hold the band to none.  🙂

Let’s face it, Duranies, we’re at the very end of what we know. Going forward from here, it’s like winter. We don’t know how long it might be, but we should probably get used to the quiet.  At first, we’ll all enjoy the novelty of peace.  Maybe staying in won’t be so bad.  But then January hits, and the cold really sets in. We start to get tired of looking outside and seeing the snow drifts only growing higher.  From previous experience we know that when spring arrives, it will probably be glorious and colorful, but it’s now March and there’s no sign of green grass yet. How long is this winter really going to take??

Yeah, I hate this part too. It makes writing tough. I get impatient, but this time, I’ve sworn not to push. I’m going to just enjoy the ride and let the rest work itself out.

-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