Tag Archives: Katy Krassner

May 2019 Katy Kafe with John

Monday brings good news on occasion, and thankfully, today is that day! After what was a very long and emotionally exhausting weekend for me, I crawled out of bed this morning knowing I’d need to blog. My brain was blank. Honestly, at no fault of the band, it was a case of “Duran Duran, who?”

My oldest graduated from college this weekend. We drove to Orange County early on Saturday morning, and all three of my children were in the same room together for the first time since December. I bit my lip and held back tears when I saw my son get out of his Uber. He’s grown since Christmas, both in size and in maturity. Above all, my oldest is now completely, and totally grown-up. We did our job. Part of my heart is walking around outside of my body with very little of my input, now. I’m still kind of struggling with that this morning. I’m thrilled, don’t get me wrong. Walt and I seriously high-fived one another when her name was called and she walked across the stage during graduation. I’m a teeny bit sad, I guess. Motherhood is weirdly bittersweet that way.

Anyway, I stumbled out to my kitchen and got online, with very few ideas of what I could write about. I needed a very large coffee and a huge sign to point my way. Lo and behold, thanks to Katy – I stumbled upon news of the May Katy Kafe with JT being ready for listening! Problem solved!

Again – these are the highlights, and if you want to know everything he said, go get your DDM membership!

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

John said it was a tremendous honor to be asked, and thought that he surely would get a call saying they’d (R&RHOF) made a mistake, that they had someone else down to present to Roxy Music. (Something I myself would have said if I had been asked to do such a thing!) John loves to analyze, breakdown, deconstruct—and in writing the script of what they’d say that night, he had to really immerse himself in the music and how he related to Roxy Music. He enjoyed that. John said it was very special, and he “just enjoyed being there.” He didn’t feel like he and Simon were out of place (I took pause when he said that – because 100%, Duran Duran deserves to be there in any and all capacities), but that there was just a lot of art (arty rockers) in the room.

He specifically mentioned how he hadn’t really connected with Def Leppard in a long time but that it was really fun to reconnect with them and appreciating where they were from. They had come from very similar places but went in “slightly different directions.. in 1982 felt miles apart but in 2019 doesn’t really seem so apart anymore.”

“Sometimes it is nice to be in a situation where there are a lot of people like you.” (quite frankly, this is exactly I feel when I go to a Duran Duran show where I know a lot of the people going. It feels like home. A reunion.)

Art

A fan (Monica Sage) asked John what paintings and/or artists he likes. One painting that took John NO time to mention was Pablo Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon”. It is in the New York Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), and he goes to see it whenever he’s able.

Fond of Matisse as well as all of the big painters. He’s always liked paintings, since he was a kid. John is attracted to color, and the subject matters less. That’s why abstract art works for him. Painting is a singular expression, and since music is such a huge collaborative medium – visual art is a great parallel universe to music.

Paint on canvas is his favorite medium.

Whenever Katy asks fans for questions – I try to come up with one to ask. Many times, I forget to send it as myself rather than Daily Duranie, and other times – I can’t even think of something good to ask that hasn’t already come up 5,000 times. Usually my mind goes blank, but apparently not this time, because I finally asked a question that was answered!

On a Kafe back in late 2018 at some point, Katy and JT talked about what John might do when he retires. For all I know, this could have also been a fan question then – I don’t remember. Anyway, John mentioned that he’d like to get into painting. The reason this stuck with me is because I love art – specifically paint on canvas. Both Amanda and I do, and we go to museums together whenever we can. Typically those times are when we’re going to Duran Duran shows, so it serves as a sort of daytime activity. Many times, those paintings inspire us in one way or another, too. I’d wondered what kind of art John might want to try painting – so I asked!

He said he’d probably start with landscapes, but he’d really like to paint people. They’re the most interesting subject to him. (I have to share that in one way, I was surprised and then in another it makes perfect sense!) I get a ton of anxiety from actually interacting with people (at times), but by the same token – I love studying and writing about them. Painting people is probably not something I could do myself, but writing about them and studying the human condition? You bet!

It (painting, and in particular painting people) is less of a thing since photography, he added. Just as quickly, he said he doesn’t know if he will end up actually painting, he’s too much of a perfectionist. I get that. I can’t draw to save my life, much less paint. It’s never too late to have a new hobby, and it is great exercise for the brain and spirit.

Summer shows

He isn’t sure how Iceland came about, but they had a great experience last time – between there and Denmark, they agreed to do the odd show even though this is a “no tour” year, He follows up by saying “there’s something about keeping that side of the engine turning over” This sort of thing just keeps their chops up and they bring that energy back into the studio. He didn’t say anything about Vegas or the west coast shows, but it sounds as though he’s happy to have the opportunity to get out in front of audiences again.

Back in the studio

“Duran Duran doesn’t make the same album twice”, Katy said. “It’s quite difficult to do that, actually,” John laughed. She gently asked another fan question (I’m sorry but I didn’t catch the name!) about the music they’re working on.

“These are early days”, John answered. Erol Alkan is producing, and Graham Coxon of Blur is playing guitar. He said having these two guys there is making for a very exciting time, making mention of the fact that they’ve never worked with either of them. It’s a little early to talk about what the music is, though. They’re already excited about going back into the studio in July after they are finished with the Danish show. John explains that after forty years, on a certain level they’re totally done with one another (the four band members), and on another, there is always the sense of possibility. They’re holding the candle to dig deeper, believing there’s something more worth mining. They’ve also worked with Mark a bit in Los Angeles when they were here. However, the bulk of the work they’ve been doing in London with Erol, and it has been exciting to get to know both Erol and Graham.

“It is very much about teamwork, and everybody has certain responsibilities”, John explained. As a bass player, he wants to
“drop a bomb of a bass line” that in turn inspires Nick or Roger. Maybe Simon will come up with a line of lyric that blows them all away and they say “I love that!” This doesn’t happen everyday, but maybe a couple of times a week it happens.


“Everybody needs a little encouragement. We all need that.” John mused. That’s the thing about producers for them. They know what they’re capable of, but the right producer will take them past that point. Errol isn’t afraid to push, and producers as a whole are going to make them do more than what they would normally do. “It’s been fantastic so far” John mentioned, adding that every session they’ve had on this album has been good.

Katy suggested that maybe working with a producer is something the band has only settled into doing recently, but John disagreed. He explains that during the 80s – they worked solidly with Colin Thurston, Alex Sadkin and Nile Rodgers. But during the 90s they took control themselves, and the results (in John’s opinion), were less-than-optimal. Working with Mark on All You Need is Now really brought them back to the practice of working with a strong producer.

Record Store Day

RSD has become an annual opportunity to produce something. This one (ATLGD) was very special, and they’ve already figured out what they want next year’s to be! (can’t lie – I am wondering what they’ll come up with!) Left to their own devices, they might not have done as much. However, labels have come to them and suggested doing something for Record Store Day – which in turn is a win for fans, right?? (Those are my words, not his of course!)

He wished they had some unreleased stuff that wasn’t on Arena, but it’s still very special. I couldn’t hear for sure whether or not he’d listened to it – either my hearing is slowly dying (it is), my earbuds weren’t worth the money I paid (also true), or the quality of the recording was bad (not really sure). Alas…

Favorite Song

Definitively, John offered up Beethoven 3rd Symphony – “Eroica”. You all better go hop onto Spotify right now and give it a listen, because he’s not into anything more modern at the moment. I was a little surprised by that comment, but also just a teeny bit gleeful.

I already have “Eroica” in my playlist, and it’s been there for years because I’ve performed it before. Sure, I’m sitting here feeling ridiculously smug and validated by my own silly play list. I’ll call myself out for that nonsense, no problem!

Yes, I still fangirl too. Usually a bit quieter than this, but I couldn’t help smiling when he mentioned that particular symphony.

Birmingham

John said that he doesn’t spend enough time in the Midlands. He really misses the Birmingham of his youth, adding that it isn’t the same city now, but it was an experience to go back last year. When he was there, he went and stopped by his old street. He finds it hard to believe that he once had a life that was constantly lived in that city, and now he spends very little time there. I think any of us who have moved away from our childhood home and city (or country) should be able to relate.

John continued on by saying the same thing holds true with family. You spend the first part of your life surrounded by these people, and now most of them have passed on. He finds that sad (as anyone might), but also remarkable. Katy replied by saying you don’t really appreciate that until you’re much older. He still hates the word “nostalgia” but Gela suggested to him that maybe that’s what it is.

Sorry John, but it is exactly that word. Just acknowledge it, embrace it even, and then move on. It’s okay – it makes you human. Feelings happen, and they don’t mean you aren’t fully embracing the present. I think it is all really about seeing and feeling the emotion of the big picture. In fact, I would go as far as to say that appreciating the nostalgia helps one embrace the present.

Personally, I love John’s Kafe’s. I feel as though after 40 years, I like getting to know the band, and even Katy, as real people. Yes – the music is important, but I believe that at this point, at least with me, I’m already sold. “All-in”, even. Knowing the band isn’t always that important to me – I mean, I don’t wonder about Brandon Flowers the way I do John Taylor, for example. Duran Duran, for me, are different. I write about them, or at least about being a fan of them, every single day. I appreciate knowing who they are.

That doesn’t mean I agree with or run parallel to everything they say or do. I’m no puppet, nor do I believe Simon, John, Roger or Nick want us to be. They’re people. We are people. The exchange of different ideas and feelings is a good thing. I enjoy good conversations and digging deeper than Rio or “Hungry Like the Wolf”. I can appreciate that these Katy Kafes (and yes Katy, I think John would do a remarkably interesting podcast if he were ever so inclined!) get us past the surface questions from time to time. Thank you!!

-R

April 2019 Katy Kafe with Roger

Someone else has a birthday this month, along with Amanda and my youngest, and his name is Roger! As he explains early in this month’s Katy Kafe, this year isn’t the “big” year – and we’re not talking about that yet!

We did hear within the first few seconds that the band is going back into the studio today, and that his birthday is also a studio day. Little by little, we’re hearing more teensy little items of interest about that studio time. I can’t lie, for me, a lot of this Kafe, seemed to be about his drums, and while some of the questions were interesting, others really didn’t resonate – purely because I am not a drummer, and I don’t know the difference between Tama drums or any other brands. I took notes, and as always, I encourage everyone to get their own DDM membership!

Today’s Kafe featured a selection of Katy-chosen questions from their Instagram.

What is your max heart rate when playing Wild Boys?

Roger laughed, because I would imagine he hasn’t had too much of an opportunity to measure his own heart rate (kind of wonder what an Apple Watch would do under those conditions though, I must admit). However, he did say that whatever it might be – it would be much faster for “Rio”. Somehow this led into a short sidebar about the fact that he finds that he plays far more powerfully when he is relaxed. It isn’t about sheer strength, it is about playing with flexibility and precision. So while you and I might think he has pretty strong arms….he says no.

I’ve seen them. Well…I have in pictures before, anyway. I’m still gonna go with yes. <big grin>

Which drum track from your entire catalog makes you the most proud?

Roger says “Anything from Rio”.

What tracks from other drummers do you admire most?

“Trampled Under Foot” – John Bonham (Led Zeppelin)

“Superstition” – Stevie Wonder.

Your homework, fellow Duranies – is to go listen to both. 🙂

What provides inspirations when writing new songs?

“What is going on around me”, Roger explains. Just as they enter the studio today, they won’t have any preconceived ideas of what they’ll play. Nick might begin playing something and then that will give Roger inspiration for a drum beat and so on. They write “off the cuff” and have done so for many years (and albums). He mentions how they were in the studio with Errol Alkan and Mark Ronson, and that in each case – they had no ideas of what they might do, but that each of them had their own creative ideas, and that in turn inspired them.

Katy interjects at this point and asks if he’s heard any of the finished songs and Roger quickly says that nothing is finished yet. I add this tidbit purely because if you were hoping for finished music in 2019….I’m still thinking you’d be better off hoping for 2020!!

What were you whispering to yourself in the video for “Night Boat”?

Roger laughs and says “I was probably wondering what in the hell we were doing or what it was all about!” Then he explains that he hasn’t WATCHED the video since they made it!

I just have to say, this little kernel of truth shocked me. I mean, I know these guys have been busy over the years, especially back then – and maybe I’m just a control freak (I know I am), but really? You didn’t even WATCH it to see if you thought it was any good? I really hope Roger watches it, and that eventually somehow, we hear what he thought when he did! (In case you’re reading: your acting on it was A+, Roger. <big grin> I must have watched that video 30,000 times when I first got the video album. I mean…you were speaking! It didn’t even matter what you were saying – I could hear your voice.

Wow. Yep, I was indeed a fan. Big fan. Huge!

If you were stranded on a desert island and had the choice of what band member was with you – who would you choose and why?

Apparently, there is only one answer to this question as far as Katy and Roger are concerned. They’d choose Simon because he could get them out. (It turns out, they trust Simon’s sailing ability. Ok then. I can’t argue…except to ask, “Who said we wanted to leave the island?!?”).

Where’s the one “bucket list” place you’d like to visit?

India. Roger has never been to India, and he’d like to go and visit – not just a resort, but the “real” India.

What song from Arcadia (aside from Election Day) would you like to add to the set list?

Roger’s favorite Arcadia song is “The Promise”, and he’d like to add that – in fact, he says he may suggest that the next time the set list conversation comes up!

What drum gear are you using in the studio for the new recordings?

He is working with more of a live drum set-up. Errol and Mark both had kits in their studios he used. While the last album relied a little more heavily on electronics, these songs are more live, less electronic. More organic. Acoustic.

**note here for everyone committing this to memory, expecting whatever music to come out to be exactly as Roger describes here. It is still early in the process. Roger himself said nothing is finished. While this is how it’s sounding now, WHO KNOWS what will end up coming through our speakers when it is done…and remember he’s talking about the drums. We don’t know what the rest of it will sound like at all. Right?

Do you still have your earliest Tama drum kit?

They have a lot in storage, but Roger says he doesn’t really have anything from his first kit. As a side note though, Paul McCartney did at one time have a drum of his in his studio. Roger knows one of Paul’s daughters and gave her one of the drums he no longer needed.

Roger continues by explaining that he’s really not a collector. He doesn’t keep things – same with clothes. He has his Rio jacket, but he doesn’t know where the trousers are. That beautiful blue silk jacket was on display at the O2 Music Experience when I was in London back in 2011 – don’t know if it’s still there though!

Which song would you go back and re-record if you had the opportunity?

Roger said “None”.

His feeling here is like most artists – when you record a song, it is like a snapshot in time for that particular period. Going back and changing it is similar to stepping into a time machine and going back to fix some part of history. Once you do that, everything changes.

Would you still join the band if you had already known what was going to happen (all of the ups and downs, etc.)

He says he wouldn’t change a thing. One thing I can hear in Roger’s voice is how grateful he is for his career. He talks about how he might have been a mechanic or hated his day job, and obviously that’s not the case with the band. Despite the ups and downs, he clearly still loves his life just as it is.

Favorite performance of his entire career?

I would have thought a question like this would stump someone. I mean, this includes thousands of performances! However, he said that the last time they played the O2 – he had his family there with him. There was an incredible synergy with the audience, and the night was magical. So there you have it!

Happy birthday, Roger! It might be a working birthday, but we hope it is still fantastic!

-R

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

October 2018 Katy Kafe with Simon!

Hello readers! I am sorry I continue to keep skipping out on blogging. I’m finding that it is very difficult to blog while attempting to sell a home along with being a mom, wife, and homeschooling parent unless I want to blog between the hours of midnight and 4am.   My current pay grade here at Daily Duranie doesn’t allow for those hours.

On with the important news: Simon was the October guest in the Katy Kafe! Here’s the thing: admittedly, I’ve gotten a little bored with the Katy Kafe’s lately.  I knew I needed to sit down and listen to it today, and yet I was putting it off…which is horrible. I suppose, in all fairness, I had been hoping for big news when there might not have been much to share on the band front.

That ends today, my friends.

The October 2018 Katy Kafe covered everything from sailing to a song title disagreement, once Simon – because he is Simon to you and I – insisted that Katy call him Charlie, as most of his friends do. I thought this was cute purely because when she called him Simon to begin with, he scoffed and asked her, “Since when do you ever call me Simon?” Katy explained she was trying to be professional and he just laughed. It was a nice exchange, to which I smiled and appreciated.  I highly recommend getting your own membership to DDM so that you can hear it all for yourself!

I tweeted this earlier, but it bears sharing here as well. I don’t know what has happened to me over the past year or two (three or four??).  Maybe I’ve lost what little was left of my mind. Maybe I’ve finally gone off the deep end. Perhaps gasp I’ve gotten SOFT, or have become a complete pushover, but hearing Simon makes me smile. Oh, I’m still going to give him a rough time…but I did smile.

To be clear: I don’t mean smiling in that fan-girly, giggly sort of way. No way. He’s SIMON, for crying out loud. Let’s not go overboard, here.

Moving on….immediately!

The highlights, as I have deemed appropriate:

Smell like he sounds

The taglines are too easy. Katy and Simon begin the Kafe talking about perfume. Simon co-designed the four fragrances from D.S. & Durga, deciding to do one scent per decade. Simon shared that he had someone “very close” to him test the fragrances, and she was not necessarily captivated by them all. This made Simon realize that he couldn’t really expect anyone to love them all, because they are very different. D.S. & Durga released 500 rollerball essential oil bottles for each scent, and the hope is that if they do well, in 2019 they will arrive in other places for those of us interested in a sniff or two!

I had to laugh, because Simon likes that one is named Hungry Like the Wolf. Of course he does…that earned a huge eye-roll from me. He also described each scent:

Hungry Like the Wolf:

Musky tone with forest scents. He even used the word “ecclesiastical” in the description because it reminds him of church incense. (patchouli, anyone?) He says this is very “raw”, and the name appeals to his sense of humor. “Who would ever name a perfume Hungry Like the Wolf?” “Who would buy it?”

I know who.

Come Undone:

Simon believes this might be everyone’s favorite. He says it is very subtle with a sexy, skin-element.

I have no idea what that description might mean, but I know I’m going to have to go and check it out when and if it ever makes its way to America. Is it weird to wear a Duran Duran inspired scent to a Duran Duran concert, right along with a Duran Duran t-shirt??

Yes, these ARE the types of things that go through my head on any given day.

Skin Divers:

Simon regards this fragrance as a day at the beach. He describes it as fresh smelling, like the ocean (not seaweed, but the fresh scent that comes with being out on the water), combined with the scent of a blow-up plastic unicorn that you use for a float.

A. He had me until the unicorn. Then I floated away on a Coppertone cloud of coconut, sand, plumeria and ocean.

B. I have to think that he just means that’s the vision that pops into his head when he smells it, as opposed to the fragrance smelling like…well…plastic.

You Kill Me With Silence:

He says this is deep, intense, woody and smokey-ness. It is dark and brooding. I’m imagining my temper in a bottle!  I’m curious about this one, too. During the description, Simon shared a little bit about the inner-studio discussion surrounding the title “You Kill Me With Silence”.

There were two camps: One that wanted the title as we know it, and another that wanted to go with “Kill Me With Silence”, which has an entirely different feel. I suspect that some may have felt the name was too long – but it is a very good example of how one word can change an entire phrase, or song title!

Sailing

I think many of us who have been around for a while know that sailing is in Simon’s blood, and it makes him the person he is. Recently he has gotten involved in the Tall Ships Youth Trust, which is a wonderful organization where they take kids out and allow them to experience the camaraderie of being out on the sea. They are currently raising money in order to buy their own tall ship.

Simon has also been keeping up with his role as a spokesperson for the Blue Marine foundation. He appeared at the Southampton Boat show for Sunseeker (a boat manufacturer). They decided to get involved with Blue Marine, not only by raising awareness for boaters, but also cleaning up their own manufacturing process. Every little bit counts!

Additionally, each year around this time, Simon comes to the Kafe with tales of sailing races, and this year is no different. After spending family time up in Languedoc, France, he traveled to Cannes to join the crew on Blitzen, a 57′ sloop built in 1938. They raced among similar wooden boats of the same age in the Regatta Royale, among a few others.

What is Simon’s job on the boat while racing? He trims the main sail, which is akin to working in the engine room on a powered ship, and when the boat owner is not present, he drives the wheel.

February shows and that set list…

Katy wasted no time bringing up the recently added shows in New Orleans and Las Vegas for February of 2019. She specifically asked a question that many have been grumbling about online – these show aren’t really  a part of the Paper Gods tour, so what can fans expect to hear? Will they maintain much of the current set list, or will they change it up?

I felt that Simon’s answer was both pointed…and vague at the same time. He opened by explaining that we should bear in mind that the last “new” material was Paper Gods, and so yes, the show will be based on that. He said they will keep “bits” of that in the set list, otherwise the show will be purely a Greatest Hits set.

Here’s the thing, Duran Duran is not a band that is going to drag out songs that the majority of their audience has never heard. They’re just not going to do that.  Too many people in the audiences have never heard much of anything beyond Rio, Hungry Like the Wolf, Come Undone and Ordinary World. No amount of complaining from fans will change that simple fact. If you are going to any of their shows hoping to hear Faith in this Colour, or Fallen Angel (or FallING Angel for that matter), you’re probably going to be sorely disappointed. I wish they’d have more faith in themselves beyond their hits, and I really wish they’d dig a bit deeper and challenge themselves in the process, but they just don’t.

Part of this is my own fault. I go to a lot of shows. I don’t do just one show a tour. I do many. I go whenever they’re nearby enough for me to sneak away.  I used to complain about hearing the same (or very similar) set over and over again, until I realized that this really is a ME problem. I’m the one going to as many shows as possible. Most people don’t. They go to one show, they hear all of the songs they grew up with including a few they probably never heard before but didn’t mind, and they go home happy. It’s the same thing I typically do whenever I go to a concert for any other band besides Duran Duran, and maybe The Killers or Tears for Fears. As a result of that, I learned to understand that I’m probably going to hear the same or similar set over and over. It is a trade-off, and for me, it is currently one that I am willing to make. I love the band, and I’m happy to hear whatever they want to play.

That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t jump for complete joy if they pulled a rabbit like “Secret Oktober” or “Late Bar” or even “All You Need is Now” out of their hat every now and then, though. I just know not to expect it.  Some wise person once said that expectations are future resentments or something like that….

This is also not a band that particularly enjoys switching up their set from night-to-night, beyond maybe a song or two. As Simon said, Paper Gods is their most successful album since the reunion. It would be utterly ridiculous for anyone to assume that they wouldn’t play any of it. That album is now a part of their history, and given that they don’t have anything new to play – my advice is to expect the same basic set list and be thrilled when/if they play something new. I am looking forward to hearing all of it.

Still gonna roll my eyes at HLTW, though. Old habits and all.

What’s this about studio time??

Katy said she heard a rumor about studio time before the end of 2018. Yes, that’s right…they’re going to actually go back into the studio again, and we get to begin the process all over again.

Yes, I did say “we”. It takes a village, y’all.  Who else is going to wax on, wax off with all of the tidbits of rumor, producers, song-titles, and all of the rest of the good stuff??

Speaking of…

Did we actually just get an album scoop??

Yes, you read that headline right too. Not only do we know that the band is going to meet, chat and begin the groundwork for the next album, but we were given a name.  Apparently Errol Alkan will be meeting with the band as they go back into the studio, and while the word “producer” was not used – I have to kind of think that’s at least the initial plan. They want somebody to steer the ship.

OK, so who is Erol Alkan?

(Come on, you know you were going to google his name, right?) Erol is a 44-year old DJ, producer and remixer. I mention his age because he’s not some wet-behind-the-ears kid, and he has absolutely worked with bands we have all heard of before, both by producing and remixing. Want names?

  • The Killers (he co-produced “The Man” off of Wonderful, Wonderful)
  • Tame Impala
  • Daft Punk
  • Scissor Sisters
  • Franz Ferdinand
  • Depeche Mode
  • Interpol… and the list goes on.

While I tend to think he’s more notable for his DJ/club and remixing reputation at this point, I think he has great instinct and is probably up for the Duran Duran challenge. It will be very interesting to see where this goes from here. Above all, it is outstanding to have a bit of news regarding a new album!

The Birthday

Simon turns 60 on Saturday. I have a hard time believing that. Even while listening to the Kafe today, I had a vision in my head of Simon in his twenties. Age is but a number, right?  He has plans to take over what he says is a very small restaurant, and celebrate with family and friends. As he should. Happy Birthday to you and your dad, Simon!!

Audible

I don’t keep up with Simon’s Reader because I’m too busy reading literature that I have assigned for my youngest (a by-product of homeschooling – there is a lot of reading. Right now I’m pre-reading Little Women). However, Simon has been keeping up with it – presumably in part because he’s subscribed to Audible, which is a subscription based-audio book application through Amazon, or Kindle. He touts the ease of being able to listen while doing anything and everything, which makes sense. In any case, he is going to be doing an “audio” Simon’s Reader very soon – so here’s your chance to catch up if you’ve been missing out!

 

That’s a wrap for the October 2018 Katy Kafe. I can hardly wait for news to trickle in during the coming months!

-R

 

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

A Feeling That Runs So Deep That It Scares Me, Too

This past week, month, and year I have been thinking a lot about safety.  As a teacher, I’m very familiar with the idea of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  If you don’t know about this psychological theory, it is pretty simple.  People have a hierarchy of needs that include physiological, safety, social belonging, esteem, self-actualization and self-transcendence.  Basically, people need to have their physiological needs met first.  This makes sense, right?  People require air, food, water, etc.  If they don’t have those things, the rest of needs cannot happen.  If people have food, water, etc, then they can worry about safety, which includes both physical and emotional safety.

This week featured a test to Duranies sense of emotional safety.  Everything fans believed about Duran was called into question with this accusation of sexual assault.  (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ll refer you to this blog post here.)  I think I can speak for a lot of fans when I say that Duran has provided me with an emotional safety net of sorts.  It is the “place” I go when I’m feeling stressed, overwhelmed, sad or whatever.  The examples that immediately pop into my head are numerous.  I remember listening to Ordinary World over and over again to deal with my overwhelming loneliness when I first moved to my city over 20 years ago.  Before the Rain played in the background as I hugged my mother as we waited for my grandma to take her last breath at Christmas in 2010.  For years, Duran has provided the catalyst to countless friendships, parties and trips.  I felt confident in my fandom as I knew that the band members, while human and imperfect, are also good guys.  They do the right thing when it counts.  So, when something comes out that questions that assumption, it hurts.  It causes pain and confusion.  It makes my emotional safety net feel a little less strong, a little less secure.

Since the allegation came out and statements were made both by Simon and Katy, that emotional safety net has been slowly repairing itself.  It is easy to begin to assume that this woman, for whatever reason, got it wrong.  I want to believe that.  In many ways, I need to believe that.  Yet, something has been eating at me that calls into question my emotional safety.

When the articles first appeared, many fans responded as Rhonda and I did with a complex mix of emotions.  While we wanted to simply  side with Simon, we understood that issues like this are inherently more complex than this even when the allegation is false or appears false.  Emotions tend to ride way higher than an accusation of verbal abuse, for example.  Sexual assault is one that is wrapped around centuries of mistreatment of women as well as individuals’ sense of self-worth on such a fundamental level that there are no words to adequately describe it.  To say that it is a dicey topic is an understatement.

Some fans, though, immediately began to lash out from what I saw.  They didn’t strike out against the situation, the circumstance, the fact that our happy place was violated.  No, some seemed to focus their anger on the woman, the accuser.  Now, I understand why.  These fans love Simon and want to stick up for him, no matter what.  They wanted her to know that they believe him to be a stand-up, honorable guy.  I get that.  I really do.  We have often talked about Duranland feels like a family in that we don’t always get along but we always have each other’s backs and definitely have the band’s back.  It is the idea that Duranies can criticize the band because of our extra special Duranie card but others without that card cannot.  They are simply not allowed.

While I understand the psychological need to stand up for one’s family member, one’s hero, in this case, I struggle with some of what I saw.  It wasn’t always just, “I’m sorry, woman, but I think you misinterpreted what happened or I don’t think your story is true because Simon is a great guy,” I saw insults.  Name calling.  Harassment.  It was just defending as it sure felt like attacking.  Yes, I’m sure many of you say that she deserved it.  But does she?  Assuming that she made up this story for whatever reason, what purpose does it serve to say these things?  Let’s say that she did it for money.  Would people harassing her, calling her names, or trying to prove that she is a terrible person really stop that?  If she did it for attention, wouldn’t/couldn’t these types of reactions reinforce that?  What’s the goal?  Hoping that she would take it back?  Even if she did, would that be the same thing has having a time machine to go back to before it even came out.  I don’t think so.  Okay.  Maybe you still think that this particular woman still deserved each and every negative statement to or about her.  I wonder, though, what it does for others.

What message does it send to (real) victims?  To me, it sends tells them that it is best not to come forward.  Why?  It reminds them that this could and probably would happen to them.  Why would anyone want that?

Then, I think about the message it sends to me about my emotional safety net.  There have been times when individual fans or people have done or said something against Rhonda and/or myself that have made this fan community feel a little less safe to me.  Yet, I could always dismiss those moments to a few individual people.  I could remind myself that the majority of fans in the community don’t act like this or feel like that.  Now, I’m not so sure.  This situation has left me feel shaken.  It isn’t just because someone I admire was accused of doing something really awful.  No, I can dismiss that as one woman making a ridiculous allegation.  What is harder to dismiss is the venom I saw from fellow fans.  It made me fear for my emotional safety in this community as well as others.  Could fans turn that rage on me?  On other people?  Yes, I know that people could argue that this woman’s crime was so bad and that I would never do something like that.  While that is true, where is the line of what is deserving of that treatment?  Who decides it?

Maybe my internal make up is different than others.  Yes, maybe I am “soft” or that I feel too much.  I can acknowledge that.  To me, though, two wrongs don’t make a right.  It didn’t take back the accusation or make the situation better.  Not really.  Maybe typing an insult or calling her name made some feel better at the moment but it only made me feel worse.  Support Simon.  Love him up.  I’m down with that.  Send him tweets or messages.  Thank Katy for her defense.  It just seems to be the more productive and healing way to go.

-A

I don’t really want to even talk about it

There are some days when it is just tough to be a fan. Yesterday, I was in the middle of blogging when a news story broke. I didn’t pay much attention and went right on writing. I was in a hurry, and didn’t have time for distractions. Then the news story was sent to me two or three times. I glanced at the headline and thought it was either a scam, clickbait, or a virus waiting to happen. So I just went on about my day until an hour or so later when a friend sent me the article and asked what I thought.  This time, I read it.

I wished I hadn’t, to be honest. I need for this – my fandom – to be my happy place. I don’t ask for much. Some smiles, maybe a laugh or two, some good friends, decent vodka, maybe even a lime and some tonic. Not much. I just need it to be happy.  But now, the Pandora’s Box has been opened, and it is really difficult to know what to say.

My comment to someone who messaged Daily Duranie directly about the news story was fairly straightforward and simple: We have chosen not to comment on something that may have happened 23 years ago. Amanda and I continue to agree on that point.

The Daily Duranie is almost an oral history of what it is like to be a fan on any given day. In the past we’ve called it a State of the Union (of Duranies), and that still kind of holds true. Today, our union is a bit tumbled and fractured. It’s been a rough 24 hours.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d like to turn the clock back about 30 hours. I hate this.

I love Simon. I really do. He has been nothing but nice (well, nice in that sort of “I’m going to spit on the two of you and then pretend I don’t know who you are later on when we hang out at a bar together” sort of way.)  to us. I care about him and his family. I think about him, and how he’s handling the loss of his mom, and what it must be like for him to be a grandfather now.  Um, I mean glamfather, of course. I think about how it’s gotten to the point at shows where he recognizes Amanda and I, and how he will wave to us if he sees us out and about. It’s nice, and to be fair – Amanda and I aren’t looking for any more than that. We’re not really “looking” for anything at all, it’s just that I appreciate being like normal people around one another. I think he knows we’re not going to launch ourselves in his direction because that’s super weird, and he should also know that if he ever wants to sit and have a drink with us, we’ll save a spot for him at the bar.

I don’t want any of that to end.

He is the crazy uncle of our huge dysfunctional family, and I have a very soft spot in my heart for him, as I don my neon green shoes or wear unsightly pajamas so that Amanda and I can continue making fun of him. It is what we do. I don’t want those things to stop, which is why this kind of news is so hard to take, regardless of whether it’s true or false – it is hard to handle.

I feel like I’m between a rock and a hard place, and my bet is that I’m not alone.

I feel like crap, to be honest.  Duran Duran is my happy place. Even when my regular, normal life has been horrible (and there have been many of those times), the band and this fan community have been my constant. While right now my marriage is really good, in the past it hasn’t always been. Duran Duran was kind of my refuge from all of that. I sort of feel like this was the place where the bad things weren’t supposed to follow, you know? The outside lunacy wasn’t supposed to get in the front door, and now here it is – running around our living room, tossing over the furniture and creating havoc.

I chose not to talk about any of this on open social media yesterday.  I did chat with a couple of trusted friends. I wish I could say I felt better. I still don’t know what to say.

The Daily Duranie also looks at fan behavior. Oh, I’ve seen some of that in the past 24 hours. To copy my friend Jennifer – I’m at a loss for words.

First of all, I’d like to just point out that we’re all fans. That means we like Simon. As such, we’re biased. The fan thing taints our perception.   Goodness knows that I’m having a very hard time writing this blog today as a result. Emotions are running high, and fans are reacting in the only way they know how – by calling out one another.

If you don’t use a hashtag #IStandWithSimon, or #TeamSimon, you’re obviously convinced he’s guilty and you should be banished from the kingdom. If you post the news story on your page, you’re a bad fan because you’re being negative and besides – everyone has already seen the story so you’re beating a dead horse. Posting anything that could possibly be taken to be questioning Simon’s complete innocence means you’re a hater. Should you decide to remain quiet, you clearly don’t love Duran Duran enough to stick your neck out for them.

Then there are the folks who, in direct response to the accuser’s story, say they’d like for Simon to grope or assault them. Hell, I saw one person say that all fans want Simon to grab their ass and that if you don’t, you’re lying.

I don’t even know where to begin with that, except to say that I really don’t want him to grab my ass. Ever.  Hugs are fine. Waving to me across a room, fabulous. Grabbing my hand to give it a friendly squeeze, wonderful. Grabbing my butt though? Not unless you want to lose that hand, and I’m not lying, thanks.

And then there is giving permission for someone to grope you. That’s different. I see it as trying to add a little humor into something that isn’t funny at all. I also think it is one of the more tone-deaf things anyone could say in response to something like this, regardless of whether or not you believe the victim’s story. Sexual assault isn’t about the sex. It’s not about making someone feel good. It’s about power. It’s about control. It’s about taking something that isn’t yours to take, simply because you think you can. Why anyone would want that to happen to them is beyond me and I’m completely disgusted that fans would say such a thing. It is one thing to say that you want Simon to touch you – and while I don’t share that feeling, I get it….but to use the words “grope” or “please assault me any time” …. have you lost what is left of your damn mind???

Let me let you all in on a little secret: I am a victim of sexual assault. I couldn’t move when it happened. I froze. I felt paralyzed, and I just let it happen because I didn’t know how to stop it. Then I got up, and didn’t talk about it again for many years. I don’t remember the exact details of where he was and where I was. I can’t remember if I was laying down or sitting up. (it happened on a date, and no, it wasn’t quite date rape)  I can’t remember what side he was on, or how it started or ended. Those kinds of things aren’t burned into my memory. What IS in my memory though is the way my clothes felt on my body at the time, the way the fabric of his shirt felt, and the smell of the air around me. I can remember how stuffy the room seemed at the time, and that I stared at the digital clock on his desk. I remember exactly how frozen I felt, or how I clenched my fists to the point where my short nails left imprints into the palms of my hand. I remember how when it was over, I didn’t know what to do. Should I have run? Should I have gone and told someone? I didn’t. I didn’t do anything. I did eventually talk to with the person who did it though. Yes, we had a face to face conversation. I didn’t sue him. I didn’t even report him. I just wanted to talk with him. Turns out, his perception of the events in question was very, very different from mine.

I don’t know what happened with Simon and this woman, if anything. I don’t want to talk about it. That’s really the bottom line. I wasn’t there. I have no idea what happened. I barely know how to put my feelings about being a fan into words.

So how do I feel today? Not good. The one thing I know for sure today is that I’m a fan of Duran Duran. I’m here because of the music.  That music is what unites all of us, first and foremost.

-R

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