Tag Archives: MTV EMA’s

It is Time to Mobilise: DD for Best World Stage

I promised myself that I would get my act together with this blog and my new schedule. I wouldn’t miss blogging days, and it would all be fine.

Then Tuesday happened. I had no blogging ideas, I had no inspiration, and no time. It is a never-ending battle. There are moments when I long for what it was like in previous years. I could sit down to write at nearly any time. These days, I work out of the house on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and as it turns out I get asked to work remotely (from home) sometimes on other days as well.  It leaves little time for writing, and unlike Amanda, who has discovered the knack for gathering ideas ahead of time—I haven’t.

All I can do is take a deep breath, smile, and say that I am doing my best. I appreciate your patience, but I could also really use some writing ideas and/or topics. My hope is to get to a point where I can blog on Mondays for both Monday and Tuesday, and then on Wednesdays for Wednesday and Thursday. This means that yes, I’ll miss out on “breaking news” some of the time, but it’s the best I can do for now.

Until then, I see that we’re still voting for the MTV EMA’s Best World Stage, as Mr. Le Bon mentioned today on Twitter. As he says, “it is time to mobilize”. (My autocorrect immediately switches to the US spelling and I’m not fixing it…sorry!)

Unlike the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this is totally about the fans. I’m voting. I’ve been voting.  Are you?  I would love nothing more than to see Duran Duran win Best World Stage , particularly because I really believe their live show is outstanding, and they’ve earned it. Yes, it’s vain. Yes, it’s a popularity contest.  Yes, I blogged earlier today about how I think the RRHOF is unimportant. This is different.

So here’s the link, go do your thing, Duranies.  And if you’ve already voted: DO IT AGAIN.  (In fact, do it over and over!)

2016 MTV EMA's

-R

Duran Duran Nominated for 2016 MTV EMA’s – Best World Stage

Duran Duran was nominated for the MTV EMA’s!  Those aren’t words I get to type every day, which makes this post especially fun.

No, awards don’t necessarily matter, nor do critics or poor reviews, but it’s nice to see the band review a few accolades every now and then.  Duran Duran is nominated for Best World Stage.  I looked this up because I wasn’t sure what the heck it meant, but then I remembered – the World Stage concert in the Piazza Del Duomo last year in Milan.  Ah, yes.

I think this is something we can get behind.

First of all, let’s refresh our memory.  I mean….to be fair about this voting thing we should at least remind ourselves, right??? It’s our due diligence!

There’s more…

Another…

I remember this show not because it was MTV…but because the setting was fabulous, and the band seemed like they were on fire. I remember seeing photos of the Piazza during the day and then that night. Stunning. Then the band came on stage and the Piazza was electrified. Shows like that are hard to top, no doubt.

At the time, I remember thinking that they’d been cheated out of performing on the actual show itself.  Another show of music industry age-ism, no doubt. In hindsight though, I think they had the better deal, playing for fans in the middle of that beautiful setting.

The following night, they earned the very first MTV EMA for Video Visionary. Again, not a bad deal.  Let’s remind ourselves of that grand moment!  (this clip is from YouTube and was filmed from the back because – there’s another clip on MTV if you want a better one but I couldn’t get it to post here, although the link is below)

 

MTV link (from the front!) 

And, let’s face it, being nominated for an EMA isn’t a terrible payoff either. But now, we have work to do, Duranies, if we want to see them actually win.

We have to vote.  A lot.

Here is the link to vote for Duran Duran to win Best World Stage at this year’s MTV EMA’s.  Just click on the picture and it’ll take you to the website!

2016 MTV EMA's

Now, I know many fans will scoff and say awards don’t matter, or that MTV doesn’t even play videos anymore…or that no one in the audience will even know who Duran Duran is, or better yet, that setting up and encouraging multiple votes lacks honesty and integrity.

Not with that attitude! It takes about two seconds and two clicks to vote for a band that we all love, and at the same time we are helping expose them to an international audience that might not know them as well as we do.  Besides, it’s cool to see them get an award for something that we already know: They are amazing live and put on one hell of a good show. Supporting that is easy.  Now go do it. Many, many times!

-R

 

 

Happy Birthday Simon!

I am running late, and I apologize. No wi-fi here at the house much earlier this morning, and I drove like a madwoman back from dropping kids off at school (this is not a “drop off down the street” sort of deal – my kids go to school about 30 mins from our house) to get back in time to blog for my dear UK friends and readers!

I don’t need to tell everyone what day it is – clearly it is being celebrated all over my FB news feed and Twitter timelines this morning, and now it is my turn to join the well-wishers. It feels like it has been quite a while since I’ve written a birthday blog, actually.

It seems fair to surmise that had Simon Le Bon never been born, our lives – those of all who read this blog – would have been very, very different. In fact, I can’t imagine what that world might have been like. Thankfully, we don’t have to even give that a single thought!

It is also fair to say that I don’t really know Simon. Up until fairly recently, I’d never really even spoken to him! Even my oldest daughter, Heather, had chatted with him more than I ever had. The only interaction I had was when he would be onstage – which means none, basically.  I had heard all sorts of things about him from other fans, read about him a lot in articles over the years, and knew that you never really knew what you were gonna get when you met him. I’d heard he could be incredibly moody, downright mean at times to some; and on the other hand, I’ve heard he was very nice, very kind…..and knew exactly what was going on in the fan community at any given time. Interesting to someone like me, for sure.

Over the years, I’d decided on my own that Simon was pretty quick-witted, and that his blanket reply about lyrics being about sex was just that – an answer, or a portion of his “schtick.” Simon likely acts and respond the way people, or fans, expect. Part of a much larger “fact” cache, so to speak. (I love it when the lyrics work for me) I was, and still am for the most part, pretty convinced that a lot of the things that drove me crazy about him were all part of a survival plan for him, or rather, his “on-stage” or “off-stage” persona that people expect.

I remember reading something a few years back from Katy Krassner about how it made her sad to see some of the things that had been written about Simon over the years  because he is a very kind and smart man.  I have no doubt that Simon exists somewhere in there. I see glimpses  from time to time, actually more now than ever before, and I really like it. I’ve gradually gone from doing a lot of good-natured teasing and making fun here on the blog to actually having a huge amount of respect for Simon. (Although that dancing of his? Forget it – I will always tease about that!)

I don’t know when it really changed, but I think back to seeing him outside the studio in the UK. He was still in his element, and I was completely OUT of mine (Never once had I ever gone to wait outside of a studio to see a band before that day).  He took the time to come over to the group of fans waiting there to explain his situation. He genuinely seemed worried, a bit contrite, and definitely sorry.  Truthfully, he didn’t need to comment on how far some of us had traveled or how badly he felt – but he did. He could have gone all “rock star” and basically waved us off, but he didn’t. I won’t forget that.

I don’t forget the moments during interviews when he talks about the fans and how much we mean to them; or when he mentions how Duran Duran is a thinking band. Those are the moments I love most, and not surprisingly it is because those are topics Amanda and I have written about here on the blog. I don’t know if Simon has ever read a single one of our posts, but sometimes – it feels like it. Not gonna lie, it feels good to know that we’re not all that far apart in the way Amanda and I feel versus the way at least one member of the band sees it.  I like hearing what he really thinks during a Katy Kafe session, regardless of whether we’re talking music or just life in general.  When he balances that seriousness with his own silliness and fun – for example when he mentioned that he dreamed about “naked ladies” the night prior to the MTV EMA’s – it works.

Simon is also inspiring. I could go for the obvious: the guy has come back from obvious vocal problems more than once (1993 and then again in 2011). This time, I’m going to pick something slightly more personal. In April, Amanda and I met Simon very briefly after the Lynch Foundation show – we just said “hi”, and took a quick photo. Simon had lost quite a bit of weight (he has said he lost 30 pounds, but it sure looked like more!) and I noticed. I didn’t say anything to him directly because that seemed a little, well…forward? I mean, I hadn’t ever met him before, really.  Anyway, I noticed and I thought about it a lot.  He looked great, and in my honest opinion he looks even better now and seems like he’s got a lot more energy. By the time I’d gotten home, I had decided that it was time that I lose weight too. I told myself that if Simon could do it, so could I. And I did. I changed some bad habits, found some better ones, and now I’m nearly at my goal weight. It has taken me a long time, and I fight the food game every single day.  I’m getting there, though…and yeah, I thank Simon for that. Out of any band member, I just never thought it would be Simon who would inspire me this way.

Our relationship is bizarre, and I don’t mean just with Simon. There are these four guys that we’ve all read about, and have “known” for an incredibly long time. For me personally, it’s been almost 35 years now. Yet I don’t really know them, and I am nearly 100% sure they don’t know me. They might recognize me, sort of, as the girl who ducks when Simon spits during White Lines at shows (Yeah, I’ve been baptized and have lived to tell about it. Still hate it, and I’m just gonna keep ducking.), but aside from that – the “relationship” is all one-sided. Even so, it exists for each and every one of us. None of us can imagine our life without Simon being in it. He still makes me smile, challenges my thinking every now and then, causes me to roll my eyes in exasperation in some moments, and other times – I even laugh. Not bad for a long-term, one-sided relationship of thirty-five years.

Yep, that last sentence looks as crazy in print as it did when I thought it in my head before typing. Fandom is still alive and well. 

He’s a pretty good guy, even when he’s heading up to the front of the stage with a mouthful of water and I’m looking at him coming right at me, all the while cringing and saying “No. Please no. Please not this way.  Oh gosh…” DUCK!!!

One of these times, I’m bringing an umbrella.

Happy birthday Simon!! I’m awfully glad you were born, and that you’re still our frontman! Much love, best wishes, and good health to you AND your dad today and always!!

-R

 

October 2015 Katy Kafe with Simon Le Bon

I don’t know about anyone else, but all at once it feels both like it has been  several months since the last Katy Kafe (seriously, just the other day I was thinking that I hadn’t written up one in a long time, although I know I did the one in September with Nick standing in front of the elevator banks at the Jimmy Fallon show)… and just a few minutes ago it seems like it was August. So, I was thrilled to see that the time had come for the October 2015 Katy Kafe.

This month, Simon joins Katy in the Kafe, drinking his “black coffee, no sugar” while in the UK. The birthday boy discusses everything from #musicrediscovered to his next Simon’s reader. As always, I admonish that these are just highlights that I’ve picked out to share, and if you want to hear the entire Kafe – get yourself a DDM membership.  I still feel as though $35.00 a year is a bargain, never mind the access you’ll receive to ticket pre-sales and the like!

#MusicRediscovered

Lately, Simon has been listening to music he once loved and had forgotten.  A prime example of this is Fela Kuti. Simon liked listening to a piece of music called “2000 Blacks Got To Be Free”  back in 1987 during the Strange Behavior tour (this was a tour where Simon liked to decorate his hotel room and feel at home with lots of scarves and incense).  He’d long since forgotten about it until one day while he was staying with John recently. John pulled out the vinyl and launched Simon right back in time. Since then, Simon has been tweeting with the hashtag #musicrediscovered. (which I personally LOVE. He’s already picked out several gems that have in turn taken ME right back – music has a great way of doing that – so be on the lookout for his tweets!)

Anyone remember cassette tapes? I sure do – until VERY recently – the only copy of Big Thing I owned was a CASSETTE! Simon apparently has stacks of them in his house. The few that I still have are in a box in my garage. I don’t listen to them because I’m afraid that they’ll be eaten by the stereo in my car – which is the only surviving tape player I’ve got left. Simon says he liked them back then because they were easy to take places. Easier than vinyl, yes!

A side note that I think is funny enough to highlight: Simon told a little tale to illustrate why he no longer burns incense in hotel rooms:  apparently he was staying in a Boston hotel and was having an in-room treatment where they were burning incense cones on his back (this might sound stranger than I think it was) as a stress-relief.  A knock comes to the door, Simon answers and it is hotel security along with the police who want to have a stern discussion with him about not smoking drugs in his room.  Point taken.

Anyone out there enjoying Apple Music? Simon mentions that he is enjoying Apple Music – prior to this he had not tried streaming on other apps like Pandora or Spotify, and he likes that he can get just about anything on Apple Music….except Medazzaland and Pop Trash, that is…

Paper Gods

Simon hasn’t been in the Kafe since the album was released, and  says he is still listening to the entire album. (Side note: Katy says the album is very linear and that she can’t skip songs. I am 100% ALL FOR buying the album in its entirety. This is not an album where you buy one song or another – this album is absolutely meant to listen from start to finish at least the first 100 times you listen. I’ve had it myself for over a month now and I’m still hearing it differently every single time. What do you mean you don’t have it yet? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? GO GET IT!!)

He comments that it’s a top ten album, which is true – it did hit the top ten on Billboard, and it’s been a very long time since a Duran Duran album has done that, and yes – Paper Gods absolutely SHOULD feel like vindication for the band in spending the time to get it right, even IF I gave the band nothing but grief for doing so. Sometimes, #Durantime makes sense.

One thing Simon mentioned was that it all still feels very fresh and new to him even though they’ve been on the promotion cycle for the past couple of months now. He says that the first single – “Pressure Off” – has already came and went in the UK. He says that the song didn’t do that well on the charts because of how it was released. Not living in the UK, I don’t know what that means. However, I continue to witness what is or is not going on in the US with regard to “Pressure Off” thus far.  The song JUST debuted on our America’s Top Ten (Hot Adult Contemporary charts) this past week at #39. I cannot even begin to imagine that this is the peak for the song, because I’m still not really hearing it on radio much at all. I’m not sure if that’s because it’s not getting played, or it’s because I’m not listening to the right stations or if it’s because I’m just missing the finer points of how a single is released to radio. I know that I do not just speak for myself when I say that I hope this isn’t where they’re leaving it with this song – I don’t know who is in charge of getting airplay or how, but it just seems like a lot has been left on the table with regard to this one. I’m crossing my fingers that more is yet to come, because the song is outstanding and EVERYONE should be hearing it all over the (radio) dial.

What’s Next?

The band just won the Q Icon award (announced today!!), and they are off to Milan in several days for the X Factor Milan show and a big show in the Piazza Duomo for the MTV EMA’s. Then they are back to the UK for another round of production rehearsals for the UK tour, which begins in November. Simon explained that the UK shows will be longer, with at least another song or two from the new album, and they’ll have more lights. I also heard him say something about the stage, but I didn’t catch it fast enough to write it down.  He was also very quick to point out that after the UK, they’ll be going to many other parts of the world in 2016, and back to the US for the summer – which is exciting!! (Could it really be that Amanda will not have to battle her school schedule as a teacher in order to go to shows?!? We will see….)

Katy asked an interesting question at this point, and it was asked in just the right sort of way so that Simon would answer! (well-done!!!)

“What song do you enjoying singing most off of the new album for the live shows?” Simon paused long enough to absorb that yes, she did ask what he enjoyed singing most as opposed to what song was his favorite – so he answered with “What are the Chances?” That song gives him plenty of highs and lows. The most difficult songs to sing live are “Last Night in the City” (definitely guessed that one!) and “Pressure Off” because the vowel “U” is high in that song, and it is the most difficult vowel to sing high.

Katy also asked about the beloved confetti cannon, to which Simon assured her would remain in the stage production. The confetti creates such a party atmosphere, and lingers into the next song as it quietly floats to the ground. It really is dazzling to experience during their show.

Yasmin and Amber Save the Elephants

Yasmin and Amber have the opportunity to ride a rickshaw in India as a fundraiser for Elephant Family, so check out this link to their fundraising site. If we all chip in a few dollars it will go a long way towards a big check (bank-note)  written for a very worthy cause.

Simon’s been reading!

Currently Simon has been reading H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald and says it’s been excellent. He plans to write a Simon’s Reader for that book as well as an audiobook he’s been enjoying called May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Holmes.  He says the book is very dark and very funny.  Look for those to be added to Simon’s Reader on duranduran.com very soon and check them out for yourself!

The October 2015 Katy Kafe ended with Katy sending good wishes from the community-at-large to Simon…did you know that Katy has been giving Simon socks as birthday presents for 19 years now? I wonder how that started?!? He apparently has a pair of Batman socks among the many he’s been given….who knew?!?

-R