Tag Archives: Mazda Mx-5 Miata

Mazda MX-5 Unveiling – Monterey, CA

I have much to comment on, but I will start with a couple of admonitions to the general public since we have gained ourselves quite a few new readers since joining WordPress last January, and they haven’t been around long enough to see us review a live show before.  Since the hiatus and LOOOONNNNNGGG years of recording this new album that we’ve yet to see, feel, hear, and hold, we’ve really refrained from getting into fan-politics or any of the social science aspects of fandom.  I’d like to welcome you all back to reality now.  So…. first of all, I am sarcastic…probably to a fault, but I consider it a gift to get through my everyday life.  Amanda is less sarcastic than I am, but she’s also the one to really point out what is really insane about our fan community. She will dive into really tough topics that I will likely just poke fun at.  She’s smarter than I am, much better researched…and nicer than I am, so good luck with that. If you read something of mine and don’t see the humor right away, you should probably try again. I make no apologies for my wickedly dry jokes, and yes…I WILL criticize the band if I see fit.  Learn to love it.  Secondly, I might even criticize fans if I think they’re out of line.  Again, learn to find the humor in what we write and recognize that everything we do for Duran Duran and the fan base comes from a place of love, respect and completely honesty.  If you can’t, this blog is liable not to be your cup of tea, and we can accept that. We will talk about the “tough stuff”, the “fun stuff” and even the “fangirly stuff”.  I will openly gush AND complain in the same blog post…and you’ll like it!  Oh, and sometimes…we might even end up being wrong. That’s extremely rare though.  (Sarcasm, people.  Read the sarcasm…)  Lastly, I’m wordy. Learn to grab food and beverage BEFORE you sit down to read.  That’s your final warning.

Today is one of those days where I am thankful for all the goodness that is found on Youtube. As many know, last night – interested parties (or those who were able to stay up late enough…or get up early enough) were able to watch the band’s performance for the Mazda MX-5 unveiling in Monterey, California.  Going into the afternoon, I had been told that the band would only perform for a half-hour. What I’ve come to understand since, is that the live stream would only be a half-hour in length, which it indeed was. Those at home were treated to a precious three song set that lasted just thirteen minutes. (In fairness DDHQ did say that we would see highlights from the show, not the full set.) For those there in person, they saw about ten songs performed – perhaps about an hour long set.  In any case, Daily Duranie took over the internet last night – Amanda handled Facebook, while I worked Twitter. We live-tweeted (and posted) throughout the show, starting at about 5:30ish (PDT) and continuing until just after the performance when I was called away to cook my starving family some dinner.  (Note to self: teach family to cook their own meals.)  No matter, the point I was making here is simply that last night I found it very difficult to tweet AND watch at the same time. So, I watched the clip of the show on Youtube this morning. Twice. 🙂

Here it is for your viewing:

So where to begin? First of all, we had a great turnout online. DDHQ (management) might not want to acknowledge our efforts, but Daily Duranie had the place going last night. Duran Duran was trending in various places on social media, and the #DDMazda hashtag was all over the place. Not bad for a thirteen minute online show. We were in contact with a couple of people who were AT the show live, and as things would get tweeted, I would turn around, add the #DDMazda hashtag and send it out as a sort of play-by-play for people to follow. (Thanks Diane!!)  As I said to her: it truly takes a village to love this band and satisfy Duranies.  When the show started, we were “treated” to someone from Mazda (the project director, I believe) coming out and talking about the car and why they chose Duran Duran. He said he was a fan of the band, and the Miata and Duran Duran were both products of the 80s, so that’s the connection.  (At least it’s the connection they came up with to explain why Duran Duran was playing their corporate gig.  I can appreciate that.)

So on to the show, right? Well….first we had to watch some propaganda about the car and then be introduced to the Miata, which in MY head looked very much like the Miata from the 80s. I was underwhelmed, but then again, I wanted Dom and the rest of those guys he plays with on the stage. (Yeah, yeah I know he’s not “a permanent member” of the band. He’s permanent in MY version of Duran Duran though…and yes, I do still like those Taylor brothers along with The Controller and Simon.)

I think the Mazda people started noticing that the restless Duranies and finally announced the band. They started with A View to a Kill, which seemed to be a rough song to open with for a number of reasons.  First of all, and this isn’t necessarily a complaint…more of an observation really, but there was a TON of bass in the sound. Plenty of guitar as well, about which I will not complain.  However, and this is likely to upset some of you out there – I thought Simon’s vocals were extremely strained. I don’t know if he hadn’t warmed up or if the jet lag had hurt him or if it was the sound in general, but he sounded very strained in parts. I just think AVTAK is a tough song to start with for a show unless Simon comes on stage VERY warm and very loose in the vocal chords and throat.  It could have been any number of things, and I’m really not finding fault as much as I’m expressing concern. None of us want a redo of 2011, and so yes, there’s some sensitivity there, at least on my part.

Next up was Hungry Like the Wolf, a personal favorite of mine as most of you know.  Just LOOOVEEE that song to bits and pieces. The first thing I noticed was the back-up singer that Simon had to call out on stage. This was not Anna Ross and it appeared she needed sheet music.  I didn’t notice her too much in this song, but take heed…. Again, lots of bass…and I’m still not complaining.  It was in this song though that my head nearly exploded (a common occurrence as you’ll see in the coming months/years I am sure) because I was treated (oh wait, ALL of us were treated…sorry about that) to my beloved DoJo at center stage for all the folks at home, and perhaps even for the audience…which was filled mostly with balding middle-aged Mazda car designers, marketing, product line developers, etc. Dueling bass/guitar.  I’d forgotten how much I love those two.  I don’t know how many of you caught Simon’s line of “I’m lost in this crowd”, but when I heard that this morning, I nearly spit my coffee at the screen.  Truer words were never spoken…at least during THIS gig.

Finally was All You Need is Now. I love this song live. I think many fans do…so we were expecting a rousing performance given that it has been over two years since they’ve played it on US soil….and I’m sure it would have been had their “Not Anna Ross” known her lines. And harmonies.  Granted, I have to think that this was a last minute replacement in probably much of the same vein as the time when DOM was a last minute replacement.  It’s not going to be perfect when you have zero rehearsal time. You’re probably going to need the music. You’re probably going to need to have actually listened to the song more than once.  You might even need the fans to sing your part FOR you….but sadly none of this really happened.  Instead, we heard completely incorrect words, harmonies that weren’t even remotely CLOSE to being correct, and I watched as Simon had to turn around and try to coach the poor girl.  It was a really, really rough performance, and let’s face it – Duran fans (including myself) are pretty unforgiving.  So while I’m pointing out the issues, believe me, I get it. I know she really didn’t have a chance and she did the best she could. I also could hear that HAD she known the music and words, she had a lovely voice.  I just really hope that Anna will be back soon.  REALLY soon.

After AYNIN, the stream ended. There wasn’t even a “thanks for joining us”.  We got nothing.  Mazda really needs work when it comes to doing these because you have to communicate SOMETHING with those who are watching at home.  While I applaud the effort to stream it at all, I wish it would have been a little smoother.  Eventually DDHQ tweeted something saying “thanks for joining us” and that’s when we could tell it was over.  Thirteen teensy minutes. That said, it was wonderful to see the band live again. I have been complaining since September of 2012 that I missed them (It is true, I went back and checked the blogs), and even so – I didn’t realize how much until last night. Well, that’s not true. I realized how much I missed them when my friend Krista sent me the picture of Dom holding up a sign saying hi to me…but that was yesterday’s blog.  🙂

-R

Give Me a Sign

It is true, I have some of the best friends the world could offer.  I say that with complete bias, and in truth, I sit here wondering how I could have ever gotten so lucky.  As always, the answer (I believe) comes back to Duran Duran.

I curse (at) that band sometimes. Things don’t always (read: rarely) work out for me, and it’s hard to ignore that by sheer appearances – some people have ALL the luck and others have none. Of course that’s likely not reality – it’s merely perception, and one can’t really spend a lot of time thinking about all the ways in which they’ve been overlooked or wronged because it’s a waste of time.  But I still take out the occasional disappointment on them by complaining about ticket prices or proclaiming that it seems like the same basic group of people always win contests.  Then I get busy here at home, count my own blessings, and realize that I really am lucky.

This week is a prime example. If the world had worked out the way I felt it should, I would have been getting ready to drive up to Monterey yesterday. In doing so though, I would have missed my son’s school orientation. We have the same orientation every year, so it’s not as though it would have been horrible to miss it, but even so, the potential mom-guilt lingered in my head. Then there is today, where I would have missed a ton of things in favor of being in Monterey. My youngest is going into first grade and has absolutely nothing good to say about the upcoming school year aside from getting her own desk (last year they didn’t have actual desks), wearing a backpack to school and perhaps a longer recess. Today the class lists are posted, and I suspect a motherly pep-talk will be in order. If I were in Monterey, I couldn’t be here to do that, and Heather – my oldest – would have had to take my place. There’s a Robotics team meeting for my son, homeschooling to do, lunches to make for tomorrow, and a special “Night Before First Grade” book to read before bedtime. All things that can be done by others, but I’m Mom.  Most importantly, tomorrow marks the very first day of school. Had I gone to Monterey, I don’t think I would have made it back home in time for the morning “festivities”. My youngest will need to be walked to school, and my oldest – Heather – will begin her Senior year. There are photos to be taken, and probably a few tears of my own to be shed. It’s the very first year in six years that I will actually be alone in this house for a full day. I made it! AGAIN! Sure, someone else could have done all of that, but I’m Mom.

So while I am slightly melancholy about the idea that the band is in the same state as I am and yet I’m nowhere near by, as I mentioned yesterday – I’m about 600 miles (give or take) away – I’m also relieved that I’m here at home. Even so, as I posted yesterday about the possibilities of meeting the band at the airport, there was a part of me that wished I could throw caution to the wind and go have some fun. Then our power went out….over and over again…and the afternoon took on a life of it’s own. We were having power surges, which is bizarre because we don’t have them here…EVER…and my phone was out of battery as well. So it wasn’t until fairly late last night that I saw this:

Gimme a Sign

I’m not really much of a bragger, but this?!? I have to share. You see, while I was running around here at home trying to make dinner in between resetting my clocks and other appliances, my friend Krista had to drive “all the way to Millbrae to find a Starbucks” yesterday.  (Hardly, but I’ll never tell…) Amazingly, she found herself at the airport and ran into some guitar player she recognized. Not only did Krista have the wherewithal to ask for a photo – she had made a SIGN. For me!!  Do you see the Daily Duranie logo on there?!? So even though I wasn’t really there, I was kind of really THERE. (I can’t help but note that while I still don’t have a photo with Dom, my name does. I’m getting closer!!)  Thank you to Krista and to Dom, for being a really good sport.

My jaw dropped when I saw the photo, and…just as the power died yet again…I tried to tweet back. I didn’t know what to say. It’s really, really nice to have someone think of you during their own time of triumph. I don’t have photos with anyone from the band, and while I talk a really good game here online, the fact is, I probably wouldn’t have ever gone to the airport on my own to meet them. Too shy. I remember when Amanda and I went to London and she had to basically FORCE me to go to the studio and stand outside. I thought I was going to be ill many, MANY times that day while standing there.  Maybe that’s the subject of a future blog…

I really am lucky. No, I don’t have tickets to Monterey. No, I don’t have tickets to Austin either…and I may have to really cut back on the amount of shows I do for this next tour or find a benefactor (ha!) willing to help me out so that I can go to a few, but I have great friends who care about me. (and one who doesn’t mind posing for silly pictures after an 11 or 12 hour flight!!) I wouldn’t have met Krista or Amanda (or Dom) or really any of you had it not been for Duran Duran. It always comes back to that crazy band.  I’m lucky.

-R

(I have to laugh…if you recognize the line of lyric I used, you’ll know why.)

We’re In Business, You’re On the Hit List

You can file this under the ever-growing “Can’t we all just be HAPPY?” tab in the Duranie cabinet.

Today’s news brings the tidbit that alas, I will not be making a hasty drive up to Monterey next week. I will not be missing the chance to  walk my youngest into her new first grade classroom on the first day of school, and I will not have the incredible opportunity to (probably) hear Hungry Like the Wolf again.  *deep, sigh* (whether that’s a sad sigh or a cleansing one clearly depends on your point of view. I’ll let you decide)

Seriously though, I’m OK. Sure, I was disappointed when I didn’t win, but I kind of figured it was a slim chance anyway. I got over the idea that I wouldn’t be driving five hours up and then another five hours back home within a 24-hour period pretty darn quickly. My luck is pretty terrible by nature, and I’ve gotten used to the fact that “many enter, few will win”.  I hope the winners all have a great time!!  I just don’t have time to be negative, you know?

On the upside, Duran Duran announced something today that I think could be fun –  the show they’re playing at next week is for Mazda (I love it when my detective work pays off and is correct!) to unveil the Mx-5 Miata in Monterey. The good news is that the show, or highlights thereof, will be filmed, and WE can view it online at Mazda’s YouTube channel.  Check out the details here on duranduran.com I don’t know how much of Duran’s performance will actually be shown on YouTube, but given that most of us haven’t really seen them play since 2012 – we’ll take what we can get! Daily Duranie will set up a viewing party very similar to what we did for Duran Duran Appreciation Day…so be on the lookout for information in a future blog. We’re looking forward to “seeing” all of you!

Back to the point of this post though, why can’t we all just be happy they’re playing?? I’ve seen so much negativity today, it’s really kind of pathetic. Much of it comes in the form of “You’re totally selling out by doing shows like this.”  Really?  Could someone please explain to me how playing shows they’re being paid to play is selling out?  ‘Cuz…you know when YOU buy a ticket to see them play somewhere, they’re being paid, right?  That’s kind of the way this all works. Is it just a matter of who is paying them?  So it’s OK for the band to make money off of the people who love them and have worshipped them forever, but it’s not OK for the band to make money off of brands and/or products.  Interesting. Or, it’s OK for the band to make money off of fashion, perfume, maybe even alcohol brands (because you know they’ve done shows sponsored by Baileys and Smirnoff among others)…but not cars.  You also know that they’ve done private gigs for people able and willing to pay them before, including corporations, right??

*scratches head*

This is all ridiculous. While I wouldn’t necessarily argue that yogurt felt a little weird – the point is that the band is being paid to play, and I’d probably guess they’re being paid a lot of money to play. Good for them. It costs real money to create and record an album. Nile Rodgers doesn’t work for free. Neither does Mark Ronson. I’m sure Ben Hudson isn’t free….and for that matter, neither are Dom and Anna, or management or their team or the many, many other people that work for Duran Duran.  I’m well-aware that the band doesn’t NEED to record albums and they don’t NEED to play live. But the fact is, they choose to do those things, and it costs money to do them….and we’re VERY glad they do! This is a BUSINESS. The band doesn’t put their own personal paychecks or savings right back into the band to pay producers or put on tours…not after 30 years of being a band.  The business has to self-sustain, so in order to make those albums, they’ve got to have money. In order to tour, they’ve got to make money, and that’s not exactly as easy to do now as it was back in 1985. Before fans say they shouldn’t act as shills for cars or anything else, perhaps fans should take a basic business economics class and understand what they’re saying first.

Bottom line, be glad the band is still playing.  Who really cares where?  It’s one show of many to come. Pay attention to the music, support the band however you can, and BE HAPPY.  Life is incredibly short, stop wasting time with negativity.

-R