Tag Archives: Male Duranies

A Look Back at Girl Panic and Singles in 2011

I came by invitation

Remember the days when we’d hear of new singles? The internet – or at least our little Duran Duran corner of it – would be ablaze with excitement? Those days are hopefully coming just around the corner again, my friends.

I believe it was mentioned that the band would reconvene in the studio in the spring. (hopefully they do a better job of “hiding” this time than they did in December!)

That timeframe gave them a few weeks to themselves this month. Then they’ll have time to prepare and do the shows in February. Then perhaps they’ll be inspired once they settle back into life at home. I am still betting that we’ll hear new music in 2020, despite what DDHQ may have tweeted. Good music cannot be rushed. I can’t imagine that the band was in the studio long enough during November to release an album in eight or nine months. It’s possible, just not probable! I’ll wait patiently…and I won’t even go visit them at the yet-to-be-found studio if it helps! <wink>

General Chelsea mayhem

On this date in 2011, it was announced that “Girl Panic” would be the next single from All You Need is Now. I can remember taking part in a spirited debate on social media regarding that very announcement. Were singles even necessary? What purpose did a single serve in 2011, anyway? Why choose “Girl Panic”? These were all viable questions that came up back then, and they still make a good case today.

I am not sure that “Girl Panic” really got any sort of radio-time. There were two times that I know “All You Need is Now” was played before it dropped off of the radar for the LA area radio stations, but “Girl Panic”? I don’t know that I ever heard it, which is sad, really. There didn’t seem to be any sort of market or proper channel for Duran Duran, and that holds true even today.

I know I’m going nowhere

At least in Los Angeles, unless you’re U2, or The Rolling Stones, or maybe even Madonna…it is tough to find a station willing to play your new music. There are stations to play your music from the 80s and even the 90s, but new music? It’s really tough to say, and honestly the answer seems to change each week as Arbitron ratings are released. In this moment, there are two “Alternative” stations in Los Angeles, and both of them lean “male” friendly. (read: they’re not playing a lot of bands like Duran Duran, instead leaning towards Nirvana, Green Day, RHCP and even bands like The Killers, Foo Fighters and Linkin Park) While the characterization is 100% offensive to me personally, it also explains a lot about Duran Duran’s marketing as of late.

Anyone with a decent memory (I’m hoping that covers most of us), should recall during the promotion for Paper Gods, that the band relied heavily upon the use of how much their audience had changed to include males during their interviews. If we weren’t hearing about the guys in the audience, we were hearing about how YOUNG their audiences are now.

That was not mentioned by chance, my friends.

Clever words I never said

It is unfortunate, but even in 2015, it was better to have young males in your audience than hoards of women wiling to spend big dollars to be there. Don’t believe me? Excellent! Go and do some simple research on radio markets. See what and whom the stations in large metropolitan areas are catering to, and how. It took me all of five minutes to read up on the Los Angeles area.

I think this goes without saying, but just in case – I want to make it clear that I’m not really blaming Duran Duran here. It is the system, and I can’t help but understand what DDHQ (management) was trying to do. It IS a bit funny when you think about just how contrived it all really was. And is.

A crush panic

In 2011, Duran Duran tried to market a song about women being willing to fall all over themselves for them, to men. The video for the song was shot in a fancy hotel with supermodels acting as the band, while the band themselves were filmed in secondary-type shots as butlers, photographers, chauffeurs, and baggage carriers with women (who were all models of course) “in a panic” over them, complete with over-the-top parties, 1980’s-volumes of alcohol, and other sorts of debauchery. I can still remember reading comments regarding the disappointment of the video by fans – who in fact were still primarily female.

Don’t get me wrong, here. I actually liked the video, and felt it was very well done. The symbolism was hysterical, and I loved the cheekiness. I felt that the story of the video was smart, and perhaps people didn’t pick up on the subtle points they were trying to make. In hindsight though, it is also terribly easy to see what, or whom, they were trying to appeal to…without turning off anyone else in the process.

…and the title of the song was “Girl Panic”. Is that a dream for most men, then? Gee.

You just let it happen

Ultimately though, I still need to understand what the point of releasing a single really is, today. While I recognize the same can be said about albums in general (on platforms like iTunes – where individual songs can be purchased, what good is an album?), I think at least the purpose of an album can be to group songs together under a common umbrella or theme. The same doesn’t exactly hold true for a single.

It all makes me wonder what the future has in store. What about you?

-R


But Here and Now It’s a Different Storyline Part 2

Yesterday, I wrote a blog about favorite band members, male fans and the competition that too often is experienced by female Duranies.  As part of that blog, I went ahead and asked the question: “If you are a male Duran fan, do you have a favorite band member?  If so, what does favorite mean to you?”  I got many, many responses both on Facebook and on Twitter and hope to get more as the more responses I get, the more accurate my conclusions are (from a social scientist point-of-view!).

One thing I immediately realized right after asking the question is what do female fans mean by favorite band members.  I assumed that many/most/almost all female (straight or bisexual) fans, at least, initially chose their favorite band member because they found them attractive.  Perhaps, of course, that personality, sense of style, interactions with fans and on interviews, musicianship and more has reinforced that initial attraction over time such that most female fans now have a favorite for a variety of reasons.  Goodness knows, that is how I would describe why and how John Taylor became my favorite.  I have said it before and I’ll say it again.  He turned his head to look at the camera in the Reflex video and I was done.  I was from then on a John fan, a John girl.  It was about his looks first and foremost, at least back in 1984.  Is it now about his looks?  Obviously, if you read my blog on his birthday, you would realize that it isn’t.

Based on this assumption, I wanted to know.  Do male fans have favorites?  If so, did they pick a favorite like I did or like so many female fans I know.  Was it about the band member’s looks?  If not, what was it?  While I got a range of responses, it became very clear to me, very quickly is that most male Duranies fall into one of two camps when it comes to favorites.  The first camp is the no favorites camp.  These fans love the band as a whole.  They might definitely appreciate one band member for this and another band member for that but one band member does not really rise about the rest.  For these fans, it is all about the collective.  I can imagine that for these fans, they prefer group pictures over individual ones, follow everyone on stage and seek out picture taking opportunities equally between band members.

The other camp is the “I do definitely have a favorite” camp. For these male fans, they do have favorite band members and these favorites might have been favorites since they became fans.  Unlike my story or so many female fans I know, they didn’t necessarily choose the favorite because they were attracted to the band member’s looks in the same way that female fans were/are attracted.  For most female fans with favorites, it was about being attracted to that band member, romantically and sexually.  For the majority of male fans who responded to me, the attraction is more about appreciation of style or personality.  They aren’t attracted to that band member out of some romantic fantasy but because they want to be LIKE that band member.  They admire something about that band member.  They don’t want to be WITH the band member like many female fans do.  Thus, for those male fans, I got a lot of responses having to do how much they admired someone’s personal style or personality characteristics.  There was a LOT of mentions about the band member’s musical skills as well.  Would we get the same from female fans?  If not, why not?  And, if a female fan talked about musical skills would that get respect or would the female fan’s opinion be mocked.  Something to think about, I guess, and probably another whole blog topic, in and of itself.

Of course, there are male fans that don’t fit into either of these camps.  For example, men who responded who do not consider themselves straight did respond more about the favorite band member’s looks than other male fans.  This could lead me to conclude that the band member’s looks matter in picking favorites when fans are attracted to men.  It is more about sexual orientation than gender, perhaps.

The follow up question to all of this has to do with the second part of my theory.  Since male fans, generally, don’t pick out favorite band members in the same way that most females do, do they experience the same level of competition that female fans often experience?  I guess that would require another survey on my part.  From the few conversations that I had yesterday, I suspect that they do not.  This makes me think of other fandoms which do not have favorites much at all or which are made up of mostly men.  Then, I wonder how our fandom could combat this, to rise above, to create a more harmonious and generous fan community rather than a community filled with competition.

-A