Tag Archives: merchandise

Looking Back She Sees the Pattern

I have been thinking a lot about change lately.  More specifically, this year has been filled with a lot of change for me, personally.  To make a long story short (because who wants to read about me!), I have had two significant changes in my life.  First, I bought a condo on the other side of the city.  This was a big deal, not only because of the financial commitment, but also because I had been in my last place for over 10 years.  I was definitely trying to shake things up.  Second, I got a different job!  While this job is still teaching, it is completely different from what I have been doing.  I will be working with different curriculum at a different age group.  These changes are ones that I embrace, ones that I look forward to.  That said, as I adjust, I find myself looking for the constants in my life.  So much has changed, what has stayed the same?

Since this is a blog about being a Duran Duran fan, you are probably not surprised that one of the big constants in my life is being a Duranie!  This really hit me as I began packing all of my Duran related stuff.  I began to ask myself, “Do I really have this much Duran stuff?  Is it too much?”  I even asked my dear friends on Facebook to guess how many boxes my Duran stuff filled up?  Now, of course, box sizes vary wildly, the answers ranged from about 10 to about 45.  The answer?  37.  Now, before you all freak out and tell me that my obsession has gone too far, about 10 or so were shoe boxes.  They were small.  It is my excuse and I’m sticking to it!!!

Now, I’m basically unpacked.  I have a few areas that I would like to reorganize but there are no more boxes.  Pictures and knick knacks have been strategically placed.  Ah…more constants in my life.  The last room in the condo to be completed is my office.  I’m so excited for this space.  In my old place, whenever I had work to do, it was on the dining room table.  Piles appeared and organization was challenging. My new office offers me space to work, whether that work is part of my paid job or whether it is blogging, book writing or event planning as part of my fandom.  It probably isn’t surprising that my office is filled with all of the 37 boxes of Duran stuff.

Office2My office makes me feel warm.  It is filled with objects that represent mOffice3emories and good times.  The room reminds me that Duran Duran has been in my life for over 20 years.  I’m glad that they have been a part of my life and the soundtrack to my life.  My thoughts then shift to the band and them finishing DD14, the next Duran album.  I wonder if they are embracing change with it?  While I know how much of a good thing change can be, I also appreciate what has remained constant.  I believe it is a delicate, but important balance.

-A

 

 

Past the Legal Limit

Last night, I saw a couple of articles being posted on Facebook about that little band we know and love.  You, too, can read the articles by clicking on their titles:  “Duran Duran Suing Glenview-Based Fan Club For Lack of Payment” and “Duran Duran Sues Glenview-Based Fan Club”.  Immediately, discussion ensued.  First, there was a need to clarify what the articles were talking about.  Then, the discussion expanded to a more common topic–Duran’s paid fan community and what might happen from here.

From what I can tell, Duran Duran Music, their paid fan community, has different organizations/companies taking care of different aspects.  For example, we all know that Artist Arena deals with the presales.  This lawsuit involves Worldwide Fan Clubs, Inc.  According to the FAQ page on DDM, “Worldwide Fan Clubs processes, fulfills and handles customer service for the Official Duran Duran VIP Community membership packages. WWFC will also coordinate contests and marketing of the Community.”  The lawsuit is saying that this company allegedly did not keep accurate accounting of membership fees and did not pay Duran the 75% they were due, based on the contract signed in 2010.

Of course, I cannot speak to the accuracy of those charges, but like many did yesterday on Facebook, I can comment about what it has been like to be a member of DDM.  We have discussed DDM a number of times on this blog, including how the presales changed when Artist Arena got involved or how the VIP packages are very different than what they were in like 2005.  The forums aren’t what they used to be as so many people left and/or stopped posting there, for various reasons.  This particular company has to deal with membership packages, contests and marketing.  How do we think they have done with that, as customers?

I have taken the time to review the last couple of years gold packages.  Most people I know seem to like what has been offered in the gold package.  It has taken awhile for the gold packages to be updated, though, which has forced people to renew with just the silver package and then again with the gold within a year, if they want the merchandise.  That shouldn’t be.  Beyond that, there is the question of whether or not there should be two levels of membership or whether or not there should be a cost at all.  Even beyond all the questions and debates about presales, membership fees, etc., is the larger and most important question.  What should the role of the fan club or fan community, as they call it, be?  Should it just be a place to get tickets and merchandise?  That doesn’t feel like a fan club or fan community to me.  I think a fan club should be about connecting.  It could be the perfect place to connect the fans to the band but also fans to fans.  While there are exclusives on DDM, including favorites like the Katy Kafe, there aren’t enough to make the members feel a special relationship to the band.  More importantly than the connection to the band, people stay in fandom because of the connection they feel with other fans.  How does DDM do that?  It doesn’t.  The forums helped at one point.  The VIP parties and other meet ups helped, but now there is nothing working for that.  This, of course, is one of the main reasons that Rhonda and I have jumped into organizing meet ups and even Durandemonium, the 2013 convention–to have fans connect to other fans.  One of the reasons we blog is to open up discussion among the fans, which is needed for connections to form and solidify.  We saw the void that was left and wanted to fill it, the best we could with no resources.  (Imagine what we could do with some resources!  Ha!)  Seriously,  we know that it is the connections between fans that keep the fandom going in between albums and tours.

Maybe this lawsuit will spur some changes.  I sure hope so.  I would love to see Duran Duran have a fan club that shows not only their love of their fans but also an understanding of what fans want and need to sustain their fandom.

-A

This Past Week in Duranland – June 29 to July 6

Here is the summary of what has happened this past week with Duran Duran, at least from what I saw.  This is my attempt to keep my very busy self and the rest of you in the know of what is happening and what has happened.  If I missed something, which is highly likely, please let me know so that I could add it here!  For the most part, I’m using the official website and Duran’s social media sites for the information.

From the official website/DuranDuranMusic:

The official website posted an excerpt from an interview from the art director at the Vinyl Factory, which was responsible for both All You Need Is Now and A Diamond in the Mind on vinyl.  The excerpt shows some of the questions and pictures to represent the answers to those questions. If you are interested in all the questions and all the picture answers, head over to DuranDuranMusic!  The paid fan site also has another new interview.  This time, it is with photographer, Barry Fidnick, who took photos of the Unstaged screening at MoMA in the fall of 2013.  He also happens to be a huge fan!!  There is also a giveaway of a print from the MoMA screening!

From social media:

The band’s twitter and Facebook has been advertising some new items in the band’s online store.  Some of the new items include hats, a beach towel, a mug and a t-shirt.  I have already seen many a Duranie make purchases.  If you are interested in seeing the items or buying yourself, go here.  If you have gotten something you ordered, we welcome reviews!

Another piece of news is that Rio on vinyl is available on pre-order.  This is a double vinyl of the remastered edition from 2009.  The link for information is here.

Photos of Simon from a Vanity Fair photo shoot have appeared on the band’s social media.  These photos are of a sailing Mr. LeBon!  They are worth checking out!

Ultimate Guitar featured Khanada on bass guitar for those interested in learning to play it!  You can find that here.

Interview Magazine included an interview with Luxxury, which included their version of Planet Earth, which you can read here.  If you want to read Rhonda’s review of the song, go here.

What did I miss???  Please, let me know so that I can add it!

-A

Showcasing Fandom: Joel, Collector and Facebook Fan

Last year, I wanted to take the time to showcase different means of expressing fandom outside of what Rhonda and I do or are super familiar with.  To that end, I asked for volunteers to complete a questionnaire to tell all of us how s/he expresses fandom.  I have posted some questionnaires from fan artists, fans in tribute bands, fans in other fandoms, fans who have webpages about Duran and more.  Today, I take the time to show Joel, a collector and Facebook using Duranie!

How do you express your fandom?  Art, Fic, Remixes, Webpage, Message Boards, Facebook group, etc?

I would say that I mostly express my fandom via Facebook.  It used to be MySpace when it started but when Facebook started, it all went there.  With the large amount of fans, fan pages, and groups dedicated to the band, it is the easiest and most fun way to participate.  I do not use twitter.  I am on the DD message board run by Mark UK, but rarely check it.

Describe exactly what it is that you do.

Probably like a lot of people I reply to posts and comments, post pictures and videos.  Sometimes, I will post Duran Duran stuff on my Facebook page, but that’s it, really.  I do not use Twitter, run any pages or fan groups, or have a personal blogs, either.

Why did you choice this means of expressing your fandom?

Facebook is easy and fast.  It is the best way to communicate with fans worldwide.

Tell me your fandom story.  When did you become a fan?  What drew you to Duran Duran?

I became aware of Duran Duran because my sister had the Rio album and liked Roger.  Of course, I heard the music on the radio and on the TV, but I was more into Culture Club then.  So I liked them, but equally to Madonna, Cyndi Lauper and the other 80s groups from then.  When I went to the hospital for a month, that all changed.  My hospital ”roommate” had the Seven and the Ragged Tiger album and kept playing it over and over and over.  From  that moment on, it ALL changed (this was during Christmas 1984/New Year’s Eve 1985).  I was hooked.  When I returned home all the Culture Club/Boy George posters were taken off the wall to be quickly replaced for  a full-on Duran Duran wall tapestry.  the insane obsession went full on, for a least 10 years strong.  What drew me to this sound was Simon’s voice, the mélodies, and the videos that looked more like movies.  I thought they were perfect, looked stylish, and had great hair.  The vinyls had great designs.  No other band of that time was as perfect as them.  It was so much fun to collect all their stuff then!!!!

How else do you participate in the fandom?  Attend shows, meetups, conventions?  Discuss the band on message boards, facebook, twitter?

Now, I’d say I participate by networking via Facebook, youtube, and the message board.  Then, it was by being penpals with lots of people, writing articles in fanzines…I wish there were fan conventions closer to home.  I haven’t attended any conventions or meet-ups yet.

What has the reaction been to your expression of fandom?  What do you people think of your work?

Well, I’m a Duran Duran collector.  Fans react well to the pictures I post of the stuff I buy.  Otherwise, in real life, I keep it pretty low key. I, sometimes, wear Duran t shirts at work or at home, but that’s it.  My full-on fanboy self comes out when I go to the shows, or related events like John Taylor’s book signing.

Do you use your means of expression outside of fandom?

No.

Can you share something that you are most proud of?

Hmm…it could be my Duran Duran photos I personally took at shows or my Duran autographs.  It could be some of the rare t-shirts, magazines, and books I have collected over the years

 I appreciate Joel’s participation and would love to know what he collects, where he finds his treasures and if he had any pictures of his collection that he would want to share!
-A