Tag Archives: Live Earth

Planet Earth Is Worth 24 Hours of Reality

I think Duran Duran’s love for Planet Earth kind of goes back to the song at hand – which was the beginning of my journey with this band.   It didn’t come as a complete surprise to me to see the announcement that they would be performing for 24 Hours of Reality…which is also Live Earth. After all, we all live here on this planet, don’t we? Why wouldn’t we want Duran Duran, the band who first told us that there were 247,680 born everyday (surely there are more than that being born each day now in 2015) or that the oldest known song is the Shadduf Chant, to perform in a broadcast that – at the very least – will encourage every day folks like you and I, if not the powers in charge, to take our dwindling resources a little more seriously?

Well, like anything else I’ve written in regards to Duranland,  I underestimated how strongly fans feel on either side of this issue. While I really didn’t see much on Twitter, fans had absolutely no problem posting their disappointment with the band and their choice to perform, citing reasons from Al Gore to the fact that this band shouldn’t be political.

There’s no way I’m touching the political football on this one, because ultimately – I don’t think the planet deserves that kind of treatment. That said, I acknowledge that some governments, such as my own, have encouraged the game. While there is no doubt that Daily Duranie is as much written from opinion as it is from fact at times – this post isn’t going to take a side on climate change or try to prove that it exists or explain why it is OK for the band to rub shoulders with Al Gore even after his (now ex) wife managed to have them censored back. Nope. Not gonna go there. Even I know when it’s time to back away from the hornet’s nest.

So many of the comments I’ve read expressed dismay over the band making a “political statement” just by appearing. I have to wonder where those people have been over the past thirty years. I know there has been many an interview – especially lately – where Simon has said that they’ve tried not to get too openly political in the past. Perhaps that’s so, and perhaps they’ve also done it subtly enough to where most people haven’t found fault.  A few examples? The video for Planet Earth has scrolling text about doomsday, the population, and various other facts about our planet. Not overtly political, but the point was still there. The band played Live Aid – which I am sure no one has forgotten, although I think many have forgotten just what Live Aid stood for, in 1985. They followed that up by playing a show for Amnesty International in 1987. In 1990, Simon LeBon sang “Follow in my Footsteps” on the album Requiem for the Americas – an album curated by Jonathan Elias as a tribute to Native Americans. In 2007, Duran Duran performed at the London (Wembley Stadium)  Live Earth (also organized in part by Al Gore). John Taylor even openly stated his support for Barack Obama as President of the US by doing YouTube videos and wearing an Obama t-shirt, and that was even before he became a US citizen. These are just a few examples off the top of my head, and I haven’t even touched upon the social commentary topics they’ve included in songs and videos over the years.  This isn’t new and this certainly is not the first time, so I guess the idea that some fans feel like now is the time to insist that they not become “political” comes thirty-seven years too late, at least in my head.

I know how important it may be to keep Duran Duran on a pedestal, or in a box marked “escapism”. My goodness, we all sometimes need to just turn the music on, sit back, and let it take us away. For the most part, it is a very healthy way to deal with stress and life – at times. On the other hand, it is also important to live in reality. Even though you or I might use the band as our escape, it’s reasonable to assume they live in reality. Sometimes, reality is worth taking a stand and putting yourself out there…and sometimes, you get hammered for it. I have to admire the band for being willing, and for challenging their fans to see another side they may not have previously considered.

I know I’ll be watching for them during Live Earth on Friday with the same sense of pride and affection as always…and chances are, I’ll steal a moment or two from my real life to “escape” as they perform on that Paris stage for Live Earth / 24 Hours of Reality!

-R

The smell of 2016 tour dates in the air…

My Duranie-senses are tingling. Yours??

As we grow ever closer to Thanksgiving break, and vacation time comes closer (for me)…I can feel something brewing. 2016 tour dates, maybe?!?

Granted, I’ve been wrong before, and let’s face it, the UK dates are right around the corner anyway….but I sense something delightfully wicked coming, and it’s not just my regular cooking-for-turkey-day anxiety (because that’s not even delightful!!). Even so, a Facebook page dedicated to Caribbean tourism posted that Duran Duran would be visiting the island of Puerto Rico in late spring for a concert on April 30th. The date has not yet been confirmed by DDHQ, and there really is no telling if this is pure rumor, speculation, hopes…dreams…or if someone should be getting their knuckles rapped for posting information too early. No matter, all it does is remind me that it will not be long before the world rejoices in harmony as 2016 tour dates are announced and pre-sales begin.

However, just in time to tide us over, Duran Duran announced yesterday that they are performing for Al Gore’s 24 Hours of Reality and Live Earth that is planned for November 13-14. Mr. Gore is broadcasting from the base of the Eiffel Tower, and Duran Duran will be performing from that Paris stage. There are a number of other performers signed on to act from locations throughout the globe. For more information, check out www.24HoursofReality.org, which is also the site that will be live-streaming the entire event.

In the meantime, I want to give another shout out to the boys of Rio – the Duran Duran Tribute band from Southern California. I was present for their most recent show at the Federal Bar in North Hollywood this past Saturday night. It had been quite some time since I’d last seen the band, and the first gig I’d seen with their new “Andy” (Daniel Coffeng). I don’t want to say that I was surprised by the tightness of the band, but they were great and continue to improve each time I see them. The new “Andy” (Rio apparently has carried on the tradition of that ever-revolving guitarist!!) did a fantastic job on guitar, and the band even broke out a few songs I’d yet to hear from them including My Own Way, White Lines, and my personal favorite – Late Bar – which made my entire night. I don’t mind mentioning that I’ve never been present to witness the REAL Duran Duran play that one live, so you can just imagine my excitement for that one!

I’ve been following Rio’s career now for a few years. Their demand as a working tribute band is growing quite rapidly. Instead of solely playing the occasional gig in So Cal as a hobby of sorts, they’re traveling for shows in Nevada, Arizona, and even Washington. I have said it before and will say it again – this band is very much worth the drive to go see, and I can promise you’ll find yourself up on the dance floor cheering and dancing away.  The band makes the show fun, yet they take their craft seriously.  Despite some incredibly difficult-to-recreate sounds and musical arrangements, Rio sounds very much like the Duran Duran we expect. Each time I see them they’ve improved and I see no end in sight for them.  There is much that sets them apart from other tribute acts out there, not least of which is the fact that the band are truly fans of Duran Duran. There is a lot of love and respect that flows through their performance. The band also loves their supporters, and they never hesitate to stop to chat or take a photo – no matter how exhausted they might be after their set. Take the opportunity to go see them!

Upcoming gigs for Rio:

Kool-A-Palooza (Salt River Fields), Scottsdale AZ  11/15

Totally 80s Bar and Grille, Fullerton CA 11/21

Fremont Street Experience, Las Vegas NV 12/30

Fremont Street Experience Las Vegas NV 12/31

Point Casino, Kingston WA 1/30

 

That’s it from me for now – I’m back to waiting on pins and needles for 2016 tour dates to add to our calendar and dreaming of meet-ups to plan!

-R