Tag Archives: London

Tales of Duranlore

Over the weekend, I heard a Duran Duran song I’d never heard before.

Think about that. We’re in between albums, I think I’ve heard everything the band has recorded…so how is that possible?

It turns out, the song I heard is one of Duran-lore, which means it’s a song that some people have long-held as existing, while others swore it did not. In actuality, it is a song that I believe eventually became Seventh Stranger.  That happens during the writing and recording process. You start with what you think is one song, and eventually, it ends up being something else entirely.

Reminds me a little of what Amanda and I have experienced with writing a manuscript. We started with one thing, switched it up and came out with a completely different version that we are now working on which will become something altogether new. Trust the process, so they say! Let’s write a book, it’ll be fun…

ha ha ha

Back to the case in point, I’ve seen a great many things written, asked and implied about this particular song. I’m not posting the link here because my point here isn’t to anger the powers that be or disturb the masses. I don’t honestly care whether the song is real or fake (although based upon the stories I’ve been told – I wholeheartedly believe the people who took the time to explain and share with me). What I find far more interesting is something I’ve titled “Duranlore”.

I grew up in the USA, and as I’ve said before, my world didn’t extend much beyond Glendora or Covina, California. Public transportation where I lived was something you didn’t take unless you wanted to get mugged, or had no other choice (meaning my mom wouldn’t let me step one toe onto any bus!). So I didn’t have the experience of going into Los Angeles or hanging out anywhere outside of my little neighborhood. It comes down to the fact that I’ve got no great 1980s fandom stories to share. From what I gather, that wasn’t the case for my friends in the UK.

I hear so many great stories, or lore, from my friends there. They had a much different experience when it comes to Duran Duran back in the 80s. To me, they were exotic and completely untouchable.  I couldn’t relate to them. They were very enigmatic and otherworldly. They didn’t seem real. I suspect that half of my curiosity about them, even as an adult back during the reunion tour, came from the fact that I’d never even been anywhere near them. I suspect that may be the case for many other fans as well. Yet my friends in the UK knew them and are still familiar faces to the band. They were frequent sidewalk-outside-the-studio visitors.

I can’t help but be envious. I don’t know what that level of recognition or having that type of history feels like.  In contrast, I spent my days between albums going to school, watching MTV, doing normal kid things, I suppose. I didn’t really think or hear about a Duran Duran album until news came out about it on the radio, on MTV, or in one of those teen magazines. That isn’t to say I didn’t spend time being a fan. My albums received ample play, but that was about as close as I could really get to experiencing the band.  In all honesty, my “story” with Duran Duran really didn’t get started until much, much later in life.

Not so for my UK friends. I am always equal parts amazed, impressed, and envious, that so many of them have known one another since childhood.  They met from hanging outside of the studio (or band members homes)!  I love that. They have an entire story that I can’t even relate to, or be a part of, because they met when they were so young and grew up with this band in a way that was impossible for anyone outside of England to really understand. When I say I’m envious, that’s the truth. I’m not jealous of them—I wouldn’t want to take any of that away from them—I just wonder what it must have been like. So, I tend to ask them a lot about it whenever I get the chance.

When I saw the link to this song over the weekend, I listened with the same sort of giddiness I do when I get a new Duran Duran song. The thing is, the song has been around for a while. It’s not new to YouTube, and I know there have been questions about it before. I certainly had questions of my own, and in many ways I’m embarrassed to say that I’d never heard it before. So many die-hard fans have – it’s one of those songs “everyone” knows about. Here I am, Ms. Blogger-lady, and I hadn’t yet. Awesome.

Those who remember Kitty will know that she posted it on her now defunct website, Gimme A Wristband. John has said in the past that the song isn’t Duran Duran (although I am not an expert in sound engineering, it sure as hell sounds like Duran Duran to me). Katy has said this song doesn’t exist (which to be fair, it really doesn’t anymore because the song eventually became something else anyway). Yet my friends, who were there at one of the (many) places the band recorded Seven and the Ragged Tiger album – know it’s real. It is one of those songs that, the more it’s denied, the more it has become something of a treasure. My friends were able to tell me the story behind the recording itself. The quality of the recording is, well, not good – it’s been cleaned up quite a bit so one can hear it – but it’s still pretty muddy sounding. There’s a reason for that. It was recorded through a drain pipe.

That’s the good stuff right here. Imagine a kid taking the time to bend down, and getting what had to have been a horribly distorted recording of a song coming through a drain pipe, just because she was a huge fan! Yet the story doesn’t surprise me one bit, given the fan in question.  I can’t imagine that she actually thought she’d be answering questions about that song and the way she recorded it thirty years later!

I went back and forth about whether or not I’d write about this song here on the blog. It comes down to this: for me, the true importance isn’t about whether the band says it’s real or fake, or what song it is…or was at the time. I wasn’t there to confirm it all, but I believe the people who took time to explain to me how it is that they have a recording of a Duran Duran song that was never released. It doesn’t matter what DDHQ has said in the years since, because they weren’t even there at the time.

No, the point that sticks in my head is the fact that these kids were so into Duran Duran that they spent their spare time (and probably some school time too!) sitting at the studio. They met one another, they became friends, and they experienced the same sort of fandom that many of us had to wait until we were adults to fully experience and enjoy. Think about how so many of us will wait hours in a hotel lobby just to be able to say hi to the band. Then think about the people we’ve met while waiting.

It is from these same friends of mine (ha ha ha) that many of the stories of how Duran Duran’s history all really happened and unfolded comes from.  With all due respect to management, for the die-hards, it’s not about the “story” that they want out there in the general public. After all, that bio and image is a highly polished veneer that is expertly applied to the raw, organic reality.  I think the real “stories” or Duranlore, particularly those that fans are most interested in, come from the fans who were actually there. They aren’t the ones who need to project a certain impression, or put on airs because the reality doesn’t match the pretty PR image that gets albums sold.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely a place for the image created by a hard-working management team, and I have ample respect for that. But there’s also the reality that comes from fans who have been there since day one, or close to it. Rarely does a management team stick with a band from beginning to end. Some fans do, though, and some lived close enough to actually see it happen. The tales of Duranlore these fans share aren’t always pretty, and they’re certainly not polished, but yet – it’s the oral history of people who, in spite of it all, are still fans forty years later.

That says something, doesn’t it?


Do you remember the Hyde Park Show?

Where were you on July 13, 2012?  I can tell you where a lot of my UK friends were!  They were in Hyde Park, London, watching Duran Duran perform for a special Olympics Opening Ceremony Concert (I really don’t know if that’s the official name but it’s what I’m going with today).

I am sure many have seen the photos of Simon in his Union Jack coat, and pictures looking out from the barricade over a sea of fans (many recognizable faces to be found at the rail).  I don’t know about anyone else, but this doesn’t seem like it was all that long ago, but it was five short years ago today.

I couldn’t find the full concert, but I did find a couple of videos compiled into a playlist from that day. Take a look!


Not sure if anyone noticed, but I’ve been on vacation for the past two weeks! I was camping up in the Mount Shasta area of California, then up through Oregon to the Columbia River Gorge area with my family.  With any luck, I’ll be back online on Monday, ready to be in civilization once again!



Diamond Dust and Dom

Would you believe it if I told you that on this date in 2014, the Diamond Dust vinyl edition of Diamond in the Mind was released??

When this came up in my daily DD history, I was a little surprised. I can’t decide if I’m surprised it’s been three years, or that it’s ONLY been three years! I think it’s because since 2015, we’ve had Paper Gods on our minds, and in some ways (for me) it feels like All You Need is Now was a long time ago. That thought also makes me a little sad.

I need to plan another trip to the UK.

Moving on…

Hey, is anyone going to see my favorite person on Sunday in London?? Dom Brown is playing with his new band, DB3 at The Boaters Inn and the show is FREE.

A. I wish I could be there.

B. If you’re going, take pictures and video and send them my way!

Last Thursday of kids in the building for me….




Newcastle show canceled, 2011. Do you remember??

On this date in 2011, some of the longest “waiting” of my life began. Duran Duran was to play the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle that evening, and was the first show to be canceled during the All You Need is Now tour.  Here’s the original announcement from DDHQ:

(from duranduran.com) Singer Simon Le Bon has today been diagnosed with a throat infection that is forcing the band to postpone their Newcastle Arena show that was scheduled for tomorrow, May 18. All fans should hold on to their tickets. Details of the rescheduled date will be forthcoming within the next couple of days.

I can remember hearing about this show being canceled. I can still feel the shock waves that reverberated through my body when my friend called to tell me the bad news that day. Every one of my hairs stood on end and I really didn’t know what to do.

Amanda and I, along with two of our friends, were to fly to the UK to see shows in Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool and London.  We were leaving in less than 48 hours for what was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime. I had an afternoon flight from LAX on the 20th and would arrive in London the 21st. I’d meet Amanda and the rest of our friends that day and we booked a car to drive us to Birmingham. We would stay at the Birmingham Malmaison in a very fancy suite that we’d spent a bundle to book, and continue on from there. It was going to be the second time I’d been to the UK, and the first time I’d ever flown outside the country without Walt. For me, the trip was huge.

I stood there by my stairs, listening to my friend rant on and on about what my choices were and whether or not she thought I should still “chance it” and make the trip. All I could do was stand there, bite my nails, and hope it was a one-time thing and that Simon would be fine for the next show, which was in Glasgow the following day.

Of course, it wasn’t. The next day, it was announced that Glasgow would be canceled. I was to leave the very next day, and this was about the time I began to panic.  I think I kind of knew our shows would be canceled, but I held out hope until the following day, literally minutes before I left my house. My bags were packed and I was waiting for my husband to arrive home to take me to LAX so I wouldn’t have to leave my car.  I believe I got a phone call from one of our friends, who alerted me to the latest announcement from Duran Duran, canceling the next three shows….all three of which I was supposed to attend.

I remember thinking about what my options were that day, but my husband quickly quelled any plans I had to stay home. “You’ve already got your plane ticket. You’re going.” I knew he was right. It was a lot to give up, and at the time, there was still that London show. It was possible he’d be able to do that, right? I gathered my things, made my flight and hoped for the best.

As we all know, the entire UK tour was canceled, so no – London didn’t happen. It was months before Simon was in the clear and able to perform again. The trip itself was good, but strange. In some bizarre way, I think going over there and experiencing the cancellation with people who understood how I felt was oddly comforting. Amanda and I tried our best to make the trip fun, and parts of it were. For me personally, the trip was cathartic. I can say that I came back home as a completely different person. A totally different fan.

I’m still annoyingly critical, sarcastic and judgmental. I still make plenty of rookie errors when dealing with the public. But, the love I have for Duran Duran is far, far different now. I think that trip made me see them as humans. Finally. Not every fan wants that. Some want to keep the band on their pedestal as perfect, mystical beings. That’s fine. It just wasn’t the path I wanted. I can’t say it’s helped with my writing or even the blog (I have still upset fans in the past and will likely do so again at some point), but I think maybe the trip gave me a little more perspective.

Later that year, Amanda and I went back, this time seeing shows and experiencing all that a Duran Duran tour in the UK had to offer. The memories from that trip are wonderfully happy and I’m glad I went back. However, the trip that taught me the most was the one that didn’t go as planned. Maybe there’s something to that.


Duran Duran performed for One Night Only back in 2011 – do you remember?

I have this really cute desk calendar that Amanda created for me. She took the same dates in history that we use for the blog, found photos for them, and then put them together. Each day, I enjoy looking at what special event happened in Duran history, and often times it gives me something to write about, too!

Over the weekend, on March 12, my calendar told me that in 2011, Duran Duran performed for One Night Only in the ITV studios in London. (Incidentally, on that same date Duran Duran also performed at the Rum Runner in 1979!)  I was disappointed only because I really enjoyed One Night Only, and wanted to share the video.

So this morning arrives and I realize, “it’s my blog. I can do what I want.” So….I found the video, and here it is!


What can I say? It’s three days till #duranlive, and I am prepping myself!


Have you been to the British Music Experience?

On this date in 2009, the British Music Experience opened at the O2 in London.

Amanda and I have actually been to the British Music Experience! We visited the O2 when in London back in  May of 2011 and went into the exhibit. Somehow, I think we felt that if we at least went to the O2, we’d feel better about the shows being cancelled (I am speaking for the both of us: it did not), and at least we would see the British Music Experience (wish it had been Duran Duran instead, but the BME was interesting).

Ok, so after writing that last sentence, I need to admit that I remember very little of the BME (and I really hope these memories are from the BME or else this entire post is about to get embarrassing) with the exception that I saw the blue suit that Roger Taylor wore for Rio (because really, isn’t that the most important thing anyway??) of which I recall two things:

  1. It was TINY.  I mean seriously small. I couldn’t have fit one leg into those pants, much less the suit jacket. I consoled myself by saying that he was practically a child himself when he wore it.
  2. It was so SHINY.  I wondered just how comfortable that fabric (silk) was in the blazing sun all day. Hot and sweaty I’m sure…

moving on…

I also remember that there was some sort of wall outside that served as a timeline (and in this moment I’m really hoping that I’m remembering these things correctly or else I’ve recalled another part of our trip entirely, which would be embarrassing…but not really all that surprising for me.) *sigh*

Oh, I also remember there being some sort of map thing in the center of the exhibit. I want to say it included the cities in Great Britain along with the musicians that came from there.  And that concludes my working memories from there unless I go dig through my pictures. I know there had to be a lot in there on the Beatles, and many other bands too, but you know….Duran Duran was on the brain.  As usual.


Duran Duran History – Earl’s Court

Duran Duran History on this final Monday before Christmas brings us to London, of all places. On this date in 2005, Duran Duran merrily played a show at Earl’s Court in London. I KNOW some of our readers were there, so share your memories in between shopping, baking, wrapping or whatever else you’re doing today. Yes, it’s already been a whopping NINE years since that show and the Astronaut tour, of which this gig at Earl’s Court was part.  Time flies!

I’m including a video clip of that momentous show, as merely a tongue-in-cheek warning…bad things can happen when you crowd surf.  Especially if you’re Simon. 🙂


Duran Duran History – Wembley 1998

Today’s Duran Duran History takes us back to 1998 when Duran Duran played at Wembley Arena in London.  This show was the second to last date in the Latest and Greatest Tour.  Most importantly, this show was filmed and aired on Japanese TV.

According to setlist.fm, the set list was as follows:

Planet Earth
Is There Something I Should Know
A View to a Kill
Come Undone
Careless Memories
Big Bang Generation
Save a Prayer
Friends of Mine
All She Wants Is
Ordinary World
Out of my Mind
Wild Boys
Electric Barbarella
Hungry Like the Wolf
Girls on Film
Secret Oktober
The Reflex

You can find most of this live performance on YouTube.  I decided to include Out of my Mind here because it is the one song that I really love from the Medazzaland period and would love to see/hear this one live!