Tag Archives: Live at the Budokan

Official DVD Release: Necessary or Not?

One year ago yesterday, Duran Duran played at the Budokan in Tokyo, Japan, as one of the last dates of their Paper Gods Tour.  While this event might be significant enough to talk about in itself, the show was filmed.  In fact, I believe, the concert aired in some parts of the world.  Then, I remember hearing  in a couple of different Katy Kafes that there was an official DVD release planned for.  Yet, I have seen and heard nothing else about this.  Now, I admit that maybe something has been said or announced on official channels and I have been too busy to notice.  That is highly possible.  That said, at one point, you could watch the concert on YouTube.  Even last night, when I checked, you can definitely watch various clips from it.  So, if people can see it or parts of it online, is an official DVD release necessary?  What would this do for the fanbase?

I have been pondering the question of whether or not having actual DVDs is necessary.  I think back to when I was a kid.  Buying or getting a VHS copy of Sing Blue Silver or the videos was a big deal.  While most of what was released on VHS could be seen on MTV or other channels, especially cable channels, I still wanted a copy because it meant that I could watch it whenever I wanted.  I didn’t have to wait for it to air.  I could just slide it into the VCR and go.  This definitely worked for my friend and I as watching Duran was one of our favorite activities.  We had so much joy  with every viewing of Sing Blue Silver, for example.

Then, of course, VCRs gave way to DVD and blu-ray players.  Still, it felt like a big deal to buy official DVDs.  After all, in many cases, there were extras included that could not be seen on TV or even online (at that time).  I love that I can still put Sing Blue Silver into the blu-ray player and watch it whenever I want.  Lately, though, I have noticed that there are a lot less official DVD releases happening.  For example, I wanted to buy my niece some DVDs of shows that she likes for her upcoming birthday on Sunday (Happy 16th, kid!).  Unfortunately, not all of the the shows she likes is available on DVD.  She can stream them but not own actual DVDs.  I suspect the reason behind this is that many people out there don’t buy DVDs anymore.  Streaming services allow people to watch shows that they are interested in at any time.  The DVDs aren’t necessary.  Of course, I wonder what will happen once shows leave Netflix or Hulu or whatever they are on.  Will DVDs be made then?  I bet they will only get made if it appears that a large number of copies would be sold to make production costs worth it.

This leads me back to Duran and this DVD.  Will it be released?  If so, when?  Does it matter?  I do not have a clue on the first couple of questions.  Anyone know?  Personally, I would like a DVD copy of that show.  Why?  First of all, I love the idea that there might be extras.  (Of course, I have to acknowledge that I have no idea if there would be but the possible idea still excites me.)  Beyond that, though, I would love a copy that I could just slip into the blu-ray player.  I wouldn’t need wi-fi or a streaming service.  No, I would be able to watch it easily over and over.

Now, why would I want this particular show?  Before you all start thinking that I would want it because I was there, that would be completely wrong.  I didn’t attend that show but I did go to a few shows and would love, love, love to have some quality footage of what shows on the Paper Gods Tour were like.  I would be reminded of songs that they played just for this tour that I’m sure I have already forgotten.  It would be closest thing to having shows I attended on video that I could relive over and over.  Just think about it.  I could watch the confetti of Pressure Off whenever I wanted.  Then, I could skip to the beach balls of Rio before watching the amazing background images of trees and lyrics that accompanied Paper Gods.  Beyond all that, I also get excited about the idea of what the packaging would be like.  I remember getting the DVD for Live from London and A Diamond in the Mind.  On top of having amazing shows on film, I also  got an amazing package, which is one of the things I absolutely adore about Duran.  They care about the details and have made their fans care about them, too.

So, what do the rest of you think?  Should this show be released on DVD?  Would you buy it?

-A

June 2018 Katy Kafe Highlights!

It is time for a special June 2018 Katy Kafe with one of June’s birthday boys, Nick Rhodes!

Record Store Day

Katy began the Kafe asking Nick about Record Store Day. Nick hopes they continue to offer something for RSD, saying that they did the Budokan show as a strictly limited item, and they wanted to do something unexpected. Nick collaborated with John to choose the songs from that show, and then they worked with Japanese artist Tadanori Yokoo along with John Warwicker to do the cover.

As an aside, Katy and Nick briefly chatted about filming the show from the Budokan. Nick says that this film is currently in editing and should surface at some point later this year!

Tim Berners-Lee

He is the inventor of the World Wide Web, and Nick met with him a month or so ago at a screening of the film about the trajectory of the internet.

ForEveryone.net film on PBS (only available to stream in US at the moment!)

Nick suggests everyone watch the documentary. I’ve seen it myself and it is well-worth your time. The web is changing, and unless each of us stands up to protect it, the way we use it today will soon cease. Take the freedom seriously and educate yourself.

One note to make here: I don’t know if even Nick is aware, but he and TimBL (as he is also known in Silicon Valley and the web world) share a birthday! 

Nefer’s Birthday in Venice

What started as a simple diner to support a charitable foundation grew into a somewhat more sizable and lavish Gothic-Glamour themed gala!

Nick didn’t say a lot about the party, and much has been mentioned about the way certain magazines referred to Nick as Nefer’s husband and so forth. I’ll cut to the chase: nothing was said.

Surprise, surprise.

Update on the Musical

According to Nick the first draft of the musical he has been writing with JT is finished, and they’ve been in talks with various people to decide what to do with it from here. Although it was written to be a full stage production, there are plenty of other options, from a virtual “experience to Netflix, Broadway and beyond. They are exploring all avenues to decide what is best.

Cayman Islands KAABOO

Nick said it sounded fun at that time of year (February of 2019). He mentioned that they haven’t put in many concerts this year because they’ve all been working on other projects that will hopefully see the light of day over the next 18 months….I suppose we will all stay tuned!

Nick also commented that maybe, just maybe later this year there might be a concert or two. He didn’t commit, but he did say that they have nothing on the calendar as of yet but that you never know. In this day and age, there is no reason to plan 100 shows two years in advance. Doing a few shows here or a one-off there can be planned fairly quickly.  Then he talked about how this year they might not be doing many but next year (2019) they’ll do a few more, then the following year (2020) quite a bit, and the next year (2021 by my count) even more!  He actually sounded open to the idea of doing shows later this year though, which, in my opinion – isn’t a bad sign!

My advice? Don’t hold your breath…start saving your pennies (or dollars) and don’t give up hope!

Residencies, anyone?

John had mentioned he would be open to a residency in Vegas at some point, under the right set of circumstances. So Katy posed the same sort of question to Nick. Much to my surprise, he was open to the idea. All kinds of opportunities exist to do different sorts of things in Vegas, and it is manageable cost-wise. He’s not adverse to the idea, but did say that something like that would need to be different to what is already being done (of course!). Nick isn’t interested in being in Vegas for a year, but shorter runs would be fine.

One thing he did mention that I found interesting – Vegas allows for a transient audience. Most people don’t go to Vegas for much more than a weekend at a time. It isn’t like playing to the same people for every single show, which, at the risk of calling myself out since I’ve actually followed them for a week or two at a time, can grow stale, I believe.

Hold up your hands, how many of you would ignore Nick’s comments about playing to different people all of the time and “move” to Vegas for a week or two if the band were in residence??

While Katy asked Nick what he was planning to do for his birthday (He says he may nap!), she also quickly slid the whole “when is the band getting back into the studio” question past him.

The answer?

Surely at some point in the next few months. They have some people they want to work with.

It’s always exciting to hear possibilities. Keeps MY mind off of the boxes piling up in my living room, which I am off to go tackle!

-R

Happy Record Store Day 2018!

How many of you out there are holding the Duran Duran Budokan vinyl in your hands from this year’s Record Store Day?  I am!  Have you all taken a look at it?  Listened to it?  I’m listening to it as I type this blog!  I will do my best to offer my thoughts about this lovely little release.

Before I ponder the merits of this piece of vinyl, I have to share a little about my Record Store Day experience.  First off, I was not sure if I was going to make this year’s event.  It has been one of those weeks in which some other aspect of my life sucks up the vast majority of my attention and time.  In this case, my week was all about a day of action on Friday on gun reform with some political action surrounding sexual assault earlier in the week.  By the time, I arrived home on Friday night I was so tired that I almost could not stand up.  Therefore, the idea of getting up early to head to the record store made me cringe.  I needed sleep, but I also knew that I would kick myself later if I wasn’t able to get my copy.  So I set the alarm and hoped that the seven hours of sleep would be enough to function.

At 8:15, I left the house to head to the record store which had opened at 7.  Needless to say, there was quite a line by the time I arrived.  A kid around at the age of 9 or so counted the people at one point and declared that there were 70 people in line.  So I took a deep breath and thanked the lucky stars that I brought coffee with me.  Soon enough, though, I discovered that I would have been okay as a local coffee shop was supplying free cups of coffee and chocolate covered bacon (which I declined as a vegetarian).  By 9:30, the freebies also included free beer.  Well then.  My tired self drank my coffee and tried not to think about the fact that my feet were absolutely freezing and that my feet, legs and back were screaming at me for standing outside three days in a row for hours on end.  Finally, I was allowed in and found what I had come for in a matter of minutes.  Success!

After that, I grabbed breakfast out with my parents, took a nap, and made my enormous list of things to do, anxious to get back to the music.  Finally, I had the chance to open my prized possession and really look at it.  The cover is a fascinating piece of art by Japanese artist, Tadanori Yokoo.  The SFMOMA describes his work in the following way, “Electrified by Pop art and American graphic design, Tadanori Yokoo has always delighted in the violation of visual taboos. Mixing traditional Japanese pictorial methods with Western representational motifs, Yokoo — an illustrator, graphic designer, printmaker, and painter — forges visual relationships among images originally rooted in seemingly disparate worlds.” (https://www.sfmoma.org/artist/Tadanori_Yokoo)  

This description makes perfect sense to me as the cover features not only a picture of the band but also plenty of other images that do not seem to go together at all, but keeps you looking and thinking about why those images as well as their placement within the work.  The back cover features the same images but instead of a red focus it is more of a blue with the sense of overexposure of photos.  Fascinating.

Of course, John Warwicker also added to the overall feel of the release by adding his graphic design on the sleeve.  My reaction to it?  The use of colors along with the combination of geometric images really catches my attention.  What really interests me is the way Duran Duran and Budokan are written.  In the case of Duran, both the R and the A are only written once but big.  Why?  It certainly draws my eyes to that part of the name.  (For the record, I’m personally a fan of the letters “R” and “A”!) Budokan also features those enlarged letters but then also has tiny u, d and o.  I so wish I could get inside of the head of an artist to figure out how they come up with elements like this.  It certainly makes a unique and clever logo.

So what about the album itself?  My initial reaction is a simple one.  It brought me right back to the Paper Gods Tour and how I felt at the shows I was lucky enough to attend.  Some songs, in particular, transported me back, including Paper Gods, Pressure Off, Hold Back the Rain and Sunrise/New Moon on Monday.  I swear that as I was listening, I could picture the trees shown in the background of Paper Gods or the confetti pouring over the crowd in Pressure Off.  The song that really made me stop, though, due to the goose bumps that popped up on my skin was the New Moon on Monday part of Sunrise.  While obviously not a new song, it captures a feeling I had a lot during this tour, which was acceptance.  During Astronaut, everything expressed newness of the reunion whereas as Red Carpet Massacre felt so divisive that it was all about holding on.  All You Need Is Now, on the other hand, seemed to be about proving oneself, at least for me because the blog was much newer.  Now, with Paper Gods, I have accepted where the band is and where I am in terms of my fandom.  I waved my torch for Duran a long time ago and won’t ever stop.

My only question is why include the old songs that they did.  I get Save a Prayer since it was connected to the Universe Alone.  Hold Back the Rain returned after not having been played for a long time.  But why A View to a Kill?  Why I Don’t Want Your Love?  I’m not sure what I would have put in their places, but I did wonder why.

So, what did the rest of you think?

-A

Duran Duran History – Chic

Duran Duran History for February 23: On this date in 1999, Chic: Live at the Budokan was released, which featured a performance of “Notorious” with Simon LeBon.

Interestingly enough, Nile Rodgers has a special recollection of this performance on his own blog that we’ve referred to here from time to time.  That performance of “Notorious” from Budokan was from  the last concert that Nile would do with Bernard Edwards before his death. In fact, during “Notorious”, Bernard was behind the drum riser, receiving oxygen while he continued to play. For those that did not know, Bernard had apparently been fighting Pneumonia and did not want to cancel the performance.  Bernard passed away later that evening or next morning in his hotel room watching television, as Nile discovered upon finding his body the next day after Bernard failed to answer his wake-up call.

Each time Nile recounts the events of that performance and evening which can be found dotted throughout his own Walking on Planet C blog, you can still very much sense the pain and anguish. While there is little that can be done to lessen the pain, it continues to teach me that nothing is guaranteed. We don’t know when will be “the last time”. The DVD is of course special simply because it is the last with Bernard Edwards, but it also features the magic – the friendship, the family, the music –  the very reasons we choose to attend concerts.

-R