Yesterday’s winner: Friends of Mine
Which song has BETTER LYRICS: Is There Something I Should Know or Late Bar?
Yesterday’s winner: Friends of Mine
Which song has BETTER LYRICS: Is There Something I Should Know or Late Bar?
Do you ever get the feeling that you’ve completely lost the plot? I’m right there with all of you feeling that way today. Like many, I’ve noticed the stylish instagram pics that DDHQ has posted of Wendy Laister’s (DD’s manager) son and his buddies wearing the “latest in DD fashion”. I commented on it before because quite a few fans were upset. My position is that I don’t care. Sure, if it gets kids interested – by all means, who am I to argue?
That said, sometimes, I really think the message gets lost in translation.
Here’s an example: on one hand, we’ve got the kids wearing the DD gear, and the band seems to enjoy playing festivals. I’m no genius, but I think it’s probably fair to say that those types of things are designed to help to get this band heard by a younger generation….like the generation of my kids. On the other hand, they’re playing places like Capri for very secretive, very private parties for billionaires. Nothing like perpetuating that air of exclusivity that I grew up recognizing to be part of Duran Duran. I’m not complaining, either. In fact – that exclusivity was one of the many things that intrigued me about Duran Duran. The idea of jetting off to Sorrento and Capri, the private parties, and even the “untouchableness” (probably not a word, but it is today!!) of this band, were all things that attracted me to this band from day one. Well, maybe since the Rio video. These are all things I’ve said on this blog before, correct? But does it attract millennials? Aren’t they all about access (hence social media)?
Here’s the thing – most of this stuff, I’ve decided, doesn’t matter. I mean, singularly, yes – going to Capri to play a private party matters. Wendy’s son and his friends “modeling” t-shirts matters. Even those festivals matter. Some people like the ideas, a lot of others don’t, but in the end – these things don ‘t REALLY matter, or probably shouldn’t matter, to fans, unless you’re like Amanda and I and feel it necessary to give commentary. <wide grin here> All together, these things add up to one band trying to reach a multitude of different people. Whether that is actually working for or against the band depends upon who you ask, and today – I’m taking a giant step back from that subject because I really don’t know. Does anyone??
What I do know today is that DDHQ posts some sort of an “engagement” type question every day or so on social media. These questions, not entirely unlike what Amanda and I used to post (and still do through our polls), are designed to keep the fan base talking about the band, even when they’re not doing much. Or when they’re traveling from Capri to who-knows-where-before-they-have-to-play-in-Oakland-on-Friday. Today’s question asked what your favorite B-side or bonus track might be.
Before answering, I thought about the question, because I think it’s really very telling, oddly enough. I get the point that we have to keep trying to expand our listening audience (there I go, using the word “we” as though I’m somehow “on the team”….but after this many years being a fan, doesn’t it sometimes feel that way??). The only feasible way to do that is to become relevant to a younger demographic, because the one I belong with is shrinking, both in size and in strength. We don’t buy. (which is part of the reason why they’re trying to market the t-shirts and things to kids to begin with!) But, when they ask questions like this, trying to engage their audience, they’re talking to people like you and I because of one semi-obvious detail:
Millennials, such as my two older kids, don’t really know what a B-side is. They grew up after vinyl. (Although rest assured my kids know what in the hell a b-side is, even though they think the idea of having to get up and flip a record over is dumb. Too bad for them that Sony has decided to start pressing vinyl again!) For that matter, kids today don’t really have the same understanding about what a single might be. To them, they’re ALL singles. You go and buy a song on iTunes. Done. Never mind the bonus tracks!
So, to the young ones that may or may not stumble upon this question and others like it in the future, and may or may not be reading this blog, allow me to help.
Back in MY day, when we trudged through snow, uphill, both ways, to school each day, we had records, which were flat disks with grooves and a hole in the middle. You’d play them on a record player, and a needle would go down into the groove, and as the record spun – music would magically spill out through the speakers. There were two sides to these records: the A side and the B side. Now, I can’t speak for all people here, but in my case – I was convinced that the more well-known songs were on the A side, and the stuff I didn’t really know as well would be on the B. I may have developed this theory back when I was a mere child because when I’d buy singles at the record store (they were also called 45s), the song I’d know from the radio would be on the A side, and the back side would have another song I didn’t necessarily know. Duran Duran was famous (infamous?) for putting an entirely different song – one that wasn’t even included on the full album – on that B side.
As I grew up, I realized that the REAL gems on an album were often on those B sides. And bonus tracks? Well, those are the songs that were so good they couldn’t even put them on the album!! They were like SECRET gems!! (Just go with it, people)
So for many of us “old folk” (I hear some of you talk about us in GA lines or at shows!), the very best songs in the catalog are the B-sides and bonus tracks that they almost never play. Even better? We’d almost rather hear a concert filled with THOSE songs than the stuff many of you have heard your parents play over the years. Hungry Like the Wolf? A View to a Kill? Nah. We want Late Bar or Secret Oktober, or even Virus!
And I’d fall over in a dead faint if they ever pulled out something like Cinderella Ride.
But I digress. If anyone needs help understanding what is or is not a B-side or bonus, I’d direct you to the discography section on the DD website as a good place to start!
I was thoroughly spoiled on Friday night, as I stood less than 30 feet away from Simon Le Bon as he sang Is There Something I Should Know AND Late Bar in a single set in a small, intimate bar in Fullerton, California. Of course, John, Roger, Andy and Nick were there too, and Duran Duran was on fire…playing everything from Sound of Thunder to Notorious, deep cuts to big hits. Duranies lined the stage, and while I only saw one pair of panties thrown…it was a good night.
Ok, so maybe it wasn’t really Simon. Or John, Roger, Andy and Nick for that matter. Particularly given the fact that they were in Argentina that night, and oh yes – Andy is no longer with the band – I kind of knew it was going to be tough to sell anyone on that story. So who was the band and where was I? The band was of course Rio: the Duran Duran tribute band, and the venue was the Totally 80’s Bar and Grille.
Here’s the thing – as far as bars go, the Totally 80’s Bar is every 80s cliché wrapped up into one building. Neon, black lights, TV monitors on the wall playing completely different videos from the music pouring out of the speaker, even the same really gross, dank, but not entirely off putting, “ick” oozing from its walls. As I stood at the bar, nursing one of the worst vodka tonics I’ve ever had, I watched a guy dancing and spinning alone in the corner of the dance floor. I almost had to pinch myself, because I’d swear I saw that same dude thirty years ago at Fashions on the Redondo Beach pier. Yeah, for me, Totally 80’s was nearly like stepping back in time….and falling flat on my face in a sea of neon paint with Apollonia 6 serenading me like carnival music in a fun house. In a word: weird. Fun, but weird.
I think that in order to appreciate the sights and sounds, you must have a sense of humor about the whole thing. Some do, as they come dressed proudly in 80s garb with a side ponytail and enough neon lighting bolts to power their own homes. Others, like me, are little more apprehensive and less likely to fully embrace 1980-something coming back to life. We come to see bands we think we know play music we rarely get to hear live.
As showtime neared, I was once again flabbergast to see Duranies – and yes, you can tell they’re Duranies because some even wear their Paper Gods touring t-shirts, which is both appropriate and cute in this setting – grabbing the front and center spots. They were ready to do battle if necessary to defend their territory from the few women (oh yes, even here) that feel they should always be awarded a spot directly in front of the singer, even if they drunkenly arrive mid-set. Truthfully, I can’t find fault with the Duranies in front, even if I chose not to join them in favor or standing back to watch the scene unfold. The die-hard in me screamed to go to the front, while the more reasonable side constantly reminded me that this was not really Duran Duran. The dance floor filled nicely for Rio, and once the band took the stage, even people from the back of the bar came to check the band out.
I hadn’t seen Rio perform live for about a year, and it might have been longer than that, now that I think about it. I can’t always make it to their shows (this is a tribute band that plays regularly so that Duranies can always get their fix, should the need arise!), but I go when I can. Since my last trip to 1985 (with Rio, of course), they’ve had a personnel change. Not to be confused with the real Duran Duran (although they will tell you that they are in fact the real Duran Duran), in this case it is their keyboardist who has recently changed. Not sure if the sub “Nick” will stick around, but he was good.
I know a lot of people wince at the idea of a tribute band. I was one of those, once. Two things make Rio different: 1. They take the music seriously, even though sure – the “act” is a schtick of sorts. They’re not making fun of Duran Duran, they’re emulating them as they tell the crowd that we’ve all been taken back to 1985 in a time machine and that it’s going to be a party. These guys are fans – and I know this because I’ve hung out with them after Duran Duran shows! In turn, they make their own show fun, and do the music all kinds of justice. I’m picky about my Is There Something I Should Know, and they play it true to form….every time. EVERY TIME. 2. They don’t just play the hits. They also play the deep cuts only Duranies know. That’s the one thing I have to say, even when they’re playing Late Bar, everyone is dancing on that floor. I wish Duran Duran (the real band) could see it, because it’s a sight to behold. John Taylor may say that only die-hard fans in the first row or two know the song at his shows – but at these shows? Everybody knows it, or it’s so damn good they dance anyway.
So while Duran Duran may never play Late Bar or Sound of Thunder, Rio does…and they do it brilliantly. If you haven’t had a chance to see them, you should make the time. I’ll even save you space on the dance floor.
So let’s get right down to it: on this date in 1987, Working for the Skin Trade debuted on MTV. Do you remember?
I know one person out there does for sure. Patty Palazzo, owner of Punk Masters and one time assistant for someone named John Taylor, likely remembers this without much problem. A year or two ago (maybe even longer?) I interviewed Patty for Daily Duranie. During that interview, we talked about Skin Trade, or rather – her obsession for the song. I haven’t forgotten that little tidbit!
So, in honor of this special day, let’s watch the video!
I like the days in history where we have a song, single or video to celebrate – it gives me a chance to watch again. I’m not one of those people who will purposefully get out my collection of Duran videos (I don’t really have much of one) and watch them. There’s not enough time…which is why whenever I’m at Amanda’s house I basically overdose on Duran videos when I have the chance!
The thing is, there are a lot of other songs that I almost never think about because they aren’t singles or on setlists…and some of them don’t even have videos at all. On Monday morning, DDHQ asked what should have been a simple question: what is your favorite “deep cut” by Duran Duran. Deep cut meant a song that wasn’t a single.
My first thoughts were Late Bar and Secret Oktober, as always. But..DOH!…those were both B sides ON singles. Do they count? I’m always afraid of posting an answer and then realizing that I didn’t answer the question correctly. The last thing I want or need are 50 other fans telling me that I didn’t answer right (and yes, there are always some that take a certain amount of glee in setting someone straight). So I checked out some of the other replies before posting. I decided that no, I probably shouldn’t post those two songs because while technically they weren’t singles, they were B-sides and not even on the albums. sigh So what to choose?
My brain went blank. Amazingly, peacefully, blank. I might not have even been able to remember my name at that point. Seriously. What in the hell was (is…I mean IS) wrong with me? So, I went album by album in my head. What was on the first album? I thought of those songs. Nothing really jumped out at me. Went on to Rio – what was on there? That’s when I came upon Hold Back the Rain. Always did like that one. Almost never hear it live. Hmm. Then I thought about other albums. Notorious was never one of my big faves (sorry). Big Thing was fine – shoot, now as I’m writing, I’m thinking I should have probably picked Land or Palomino. Wait, are those singles? (No, no they weren’t. I’m an idiot and need a brain transplant.)
So…I could have done that all day, as it turns out. I settled on Hold Back the Rain rather quickly because of two reasons: A. it is a good song and one I really like. B. I was trying to hurry. But, I did think about Paper Gods. One of my most favorite songs off of that album is a pretty deep cut that you don’t even get unless you buy one of the exclusive versions – Planet Roaring. That’s another one that I would probably give my eye teeth to hear live. (well, maybe NOT my eye teeth. I’d look strange without them. How about a molar??) The big fan in me wishes they’d play it live. It’s anthemic, it’s easy to sing along with them, and it would get the crowd going…or at least the crowd in the first three or four rows. sigh. I hate it when my brain knows something my heart wishes to completely disregard.
So, go on then…what’s your favorite deep cut? No pressure…we’ve got time…answer in the comments!
Yesterday, I wrote about some things I am thankful for. I decided a visual was in order.
I’m going to apologize to my male friends out there, should you be over the whole “gawking at the band” thing. I have decided that life is entirely too short to worry about what some of you may think. I’m gonna do this the way I wanna do it…period. If the band didn’t want us to look at them, they’d perform behind a damn wall.
So with that in mind, here are some of the more visual things I am thankful for, on this lovely Thanksgiving Day. Enjoy!
I think this thumbnail alone speaks volumes and says everything I need say.
On the other hand….
(and I could have posted just about any video from Dom…I just like this one, and it’s his solo stuff, so enjoy!)
Back to Duran Duran…
Oh look, another thumbnail with Roger. 😀 No seriously, I am thankful for this video because it is with all five, and it is the five that I grew up identifying as Duran Duran. There is no more joyous of a video than this one for me, to be honest.
I love this video. I am thankful that Nick decided to be a pain in the ass and chew gum, too. You go on with your bad self, Mr. Rhodes.
So much to be thankful for in this one I do not know where to begin. Well, there’s John Taylor, to begin with… and Simon. What? I need therapy.
Ah yes, therapy. This might work. I am thankful for this video because regardless of what the band or the director had in mind – I have my own personal meaning for all of it. And Dom is in it. :)It’s
It’s Late Bar. It’s semi-recent(ish). Oh, and Dom is in it. To be honest, I don’t even know if he played well. Does that matter right now?
There’s a lot of memories here for me. I saw the studio they filmed this at (the tin foil was still on the wall), I walked through the cemetery Nick walked through (it also thundered, lightning and hailed which was amusing), and I saw some of the other sites in the video too. Plus – all we really need is now, isn’t it?
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Welcome to the holiday season, 2016 (we are almost through this blasted year!)
Yesterday’s winner: Last Chance on the Stairway
Which song would you rather have ADDED to the setlist: Late Bar or Lonely in Your Nightmare?
Yesterday’s winner: Late Bar
Which song would you rather have ADDED to the setlist: Lay Lady Lay or Lonely in Your Nightmare?
Yesterday’s winner: Last Chance on the Stairway
Which song would you rather have ADDED to the setlist: Last Day on Earth or Late Bar?
I’m having a difficult time writing today, and that’s at least partially because I’m under the gun with timing. The other issue is that today is the private memorial for my mom’s partner.
Even after his death, I’m still grappling with what to call him. He was a good friend to my mom, a sort of companion, and he kind of lived with my mom too. I say “kind of” because he and my mom live at the same senior complex, but he kept his own apartment downstairs. Yet, he spent the night at my mom’s most of the time. They weren’t married or anything, and so when it boils down to it – I don’t really know how to categorize their relationship. It’s weird.
My parents were married for 48 years before my dad died. I embraced the idea of my mom getting involved with this other man, and he became part of our family in many ways. But, he and I were never very close. He was just that way I suppose, and now with his passing, I have to help my mom pick up the pieces and move on. Again. Not an easy task.
So, my mood is less than stellar I suppose. That also makes it tough to write. I’m wishing I were on a plane headed for Vancouver for a weekend of Duranie fun. Since that cannot happen, I think I’m just going to pick some videos to watch instead.
I think Pressure Off is pretty appropriate.
Rio always puts me in a better mood
Careless Memories kind of lets me work through some anger
Serious…because it doesn’t have to be serious
Crocodile Tears by Dom Brown goes here because I said so
And I’ll finish with Late Bar because sometimes, I just need it.
I won’t lie, I’ll be glad when this is over. There’s been a lot going on that I haven’t been able to talk about here, and today is going to give me some closure that I need in order to move forward. The service will be very short because it will be just my family there with my mom, but I think it will take all of us a very long time to actually move on.
But, these videos will help me this afternoon, so I plan to sit and watch!
And for those of you headed to Vancouver this weekend, I hope you have a blast!! Safe travels to everyone!
Yesterday’s winner: Too Bad You’re So Beautiful
Which song would you rather have ADDED to the setlist: Late Bar or Hold Back the Rain?