Tag Archives: MTV

Hunky Dory Like The Wolf

Tune in Saturday and maybe win your very own Punk Masters shirt!

I promise, this blog isn’t all self-promotion. Just wanted to toss it out there that Fade To Grey is back on Saturday and Daily Duranie has partnered with Punk Masters, yes, that Punk Masters for this weekend’s show. What does that mean? Well, it means that the amazing Patty Palazzo is giving away one of her custom shirts as seen on every member of Duran Duran.

Here’s the inside scoop for the Daily Duranie readers. I’ll be giving away the shirt during the 9pm EST show later in the day because the shirt can only be shipped to a US address. The current situation with the virus has disrupted international shipping too much. It will be trivia and it will be Duran Duran themed. Hope you can make it. Sirius/XM DJ and Mad World author Lori Majewski was in the chat last Fade To Grey so come hang with Daily Duranie’s intern DJ Velvet Rebel.

But, it’s Wacky Wednesday which means I owe you a blog. So, last night I put on 60 minutes of videos from May of 1983. I like to go back and watch videos to discover stuff I missed (sometimes) or forgotten (often) when I was a young, wide-eyed kid. It helps fuel my growth as a music writer and gives me new ideas as a DJ. And it keeps me occupied so the wife can relax. Haha!

Here are some of the highlights and lowlights. And if you want to watch along, here is the link.

  1. Mick Jagger and Bette Midler duet on “Beast of Burden”. This definitely falls in the things I sort of remember but forgot for a reason category of these exercises.
  2. The theme, the flag on the moon, the voice of Mark Goodman. I am nine again.
  3. Hall & Oates trying to act tough in “Say It Ain’t So”. Honestly, their videos are better than they should have been pretty consistently.
  4. Friday Night Video Fight this week: Phil Collins vs. The Cars
  5. “Who Can It Be Now?” by Men At Work is an example of a band that makes such good videos that it distracts from how good the songs were. Colin Hay was Elvis Costello held hostage by a koala bear.
  6. Mr. Mister “Hunters of the Night” is why I spend nights in 1983! Don’t remember this song at all and it’s a new wave nugget of detached AOR cool that suburban me was all about.
  7. Robert Plant “Big Log” is a video that I hated as a kid. What was Led Zeppelin and why should I care who Plant is? So, so naive was I.
  8. 1983 commercial: “You are the coffee generation” as I look at the stars on my Starbucks app….damn right we are the coffee generation!
  9. The Alan Parsons Project was on MTV? “Don’t Answer Me” is yacht rock gold.
  10. Someone tell me where to model for “Stray Cat Strut” ended up. There has to be a blog about it somewhere.
  11. RATT “Round & Round” is on and this seems so much earlier than I thought hair metal infiltrated MTV. Hmmm….
  12. German schoolteacher Nena. German never sounded so cool.
  13. We get about three seconds of .38 Special before someone stopped their VCR. Glad it wasn’t just me. I didn’t like them in 1983 and that’s before I discovered how awesome Lynyrd Skynyrd was.
  14. Blancmange in MTV News. Wife tells me they were huge but I really didn’t remember them when I heard them a few years ago.
  15. “No Artificial Color” was a selling point in 1983 for soda. I think soda is the last thing we worry about in 2020.
  16. Ray Charles selling laser disc players with “Rio” on the television. Ladies and gentleman, 1983.
  17. Queen “I Want to Break Free” is so amazing. Why wasn’t I into Queen in 1983. This is the best video all so far.
  18. Phil Collins with the Against All Odds song. Is that a decent film? Bueller? Bueller?
  19. Couldn’t finish on a Phil Collins video so going past one hour.
  20. If you asked me what the first video from Paul Young on MTV, I would have bet a bottle of rum that it was “Every Time You Go Away”. I stand corrected. Fun Fact: this video was filmed at the famed Hammersmith Odeon in London. I know this because I went to see Spandau Ballet there for my wife. And Shirley from Wham! was next to me in the concession area. That was awesome.

Her Name is Chrissie and She Dances on the Sea….

Ed Note: Okay, so perhaps I got a little carried away with the title. Chrissie has graciously volunteered her services as a special contributor on board the 5th Annual 80’s Cruise. Today brings her first installment. Enjoy! -R

By Chrissie Peters

Dig, If You Will, A Picture…

For the next seven days, I have the unique opportunity to have a vacation on a cruise ship in the Caribbean Sea, as well as seeing more than a dozen 80’s musical artists and acts. My husband Russ and I are sailing aboard Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas with approximately 3,000 other avid 80’s fans on the 5th Annual 80’s Cruise, hosted by three of the original MTV VJ’s (Alan Hunter, Mark Goodman, and Nina Blackwood). 

This trip was not my idea, although I am the big 80’s fan in our household. The week after last year’s cruise ended, with just a few artists announced for the 2020 cruise, my husband proposed that we go ahead and do it, as I had really wanted to go a couple of previous year. Admittedly, I was most excited about the prospect of seeing Bananarama. Less than two weeks after we made our down-payment, guess who canceled their contract with the company for the 2020 cruise? That’s right — Bananarama, for reasons that were never disclosed to us. We, of course, had the option to cancel, but decided that we would wait to see who would be selected to replace the group. By then, we were also excited about some of the other acts, too, especially The B-52’s, The Motels, and Patty Smythe & Scandal. Then we found out that two acts would replace Bananarama — Bret Michaels and Loverboy. So we happily continued to make our monthly payments on what has easily been the most expensive cruise (or vacation at all, for that matter), that we have ever taken. Of course, we have never had a vacation cruising the tropics while it’s snowing back home, complete with more than a dozen concerts, interviews, celebrity-led excursions, etc., either. In the end, I feel like the value far outweighs what we have paid (and I am saying that after being aboard the ship for less than twelve hours)!

If I Could Turn Back Time…

Everything here is retro. The hairstyles. The clothes. Men and women, alike. My favorite bar, Music Video Tavern (MVT), features video screens playing real videos, just like the old days. There are tables with board games like Trivial Pursuit, Life, and more. There’s a life-sized Operation game. And several arcade games that you can just walk up to and start playing, no quarters required. (Nick Rhodes of yesteryear would be in heaven, as Galaga is among them — think the Sing Blue Silver documentary). The drinks have throwback names, and I have become quite fond of Welcome to the Jungle at MVT (drinks are included with the price of the trip, so I figure I might as well take advantage of what we paid for). 

There are different themes nightly. Tonight, we partied like it was 1979, and ushered in 1980 with no fewer than four separate New Year’s Eve parties. Well, that’s a general “we,” since I stayed in the stateroom to start this post, and to indulge in watching more videos. (Honestly, I could just sit and do this for hours. I mean, didn’t all of us used to???) and I’m glad that I did. “Hungry Like the Wolf” came on back-to-back with “Take On Me,” by Aha; I was in 1980’s heaven!

There Are No Mistakes…

In the past few weeks, the landscape of health and travel have taken on new concerns with the rise and spread of the coronavirus. Many of our friends and family members have tried to talk out of coming on the cruise completely. My husband is a Registered Nurse, so he has kept on top of the situation for work purposes, as well as for our vacation. While we realize that there is some risk involved, we both agreed that we felt that there was a greater risk of catching something during our flight than on the actual cruise. 

To keep in order with CDC guidelines, one of the acts for the cruise, Dire Straits Legacy Band, were restricted from the trip due to the fact that they had been in Rome within the past few weeks. Just two days later, and three days before leaving port, it was announced that Loverboy had also pulled out, no reasons given to us. Remember when Bananarama canceled, right? And Loverboy was named as one of two replacement acts? The next day, it was announced that we would have two more acts to replace the two acts that had had to cancel in the final week leading up to the trip. Kool & The Gang, and Taylor Dayne. 

When we made that deposit a year ago, we never imagined something like the coronavirus. I never imagined not seeing Bananarama. But things happen the way they do for specific reasons. My cousins and I used to sing “Celebration” at family reunions and force family members a quarter each to see us perform the song. That was back in 1980. Forty years later, I will get to hear the real deal in person and have new memories to add to those from my childhood. Like Patty Smyth & Scandal sang in their amazing show tonight, “There are no mistakes.” 

The Way You Did When You Were Younger

The other day my friend messaged to me to say, “Guess what I’m listening to?” Now, this isn’t the first time I have gotten this exact question or something super similar. I always know that the answer has something to do with Duran Duran. Turns out that my friend was listening to Ordinary World. Once my friend identified the song, she went on to say, “I know. This is not your favorite song or album.” Obviously, we have had conversations about Duran Duran and this particular era before. Sadly, when we have talked, it is not quite the same as if, say, Rhonda and I were talking. My friend’s knowledge about Duran is limited. I struggle to explain everything I think without overwhelming her with information. Nonetheless, the conversation got me thinking.

This friend of mine (no pun intended), a fellow teacher, is about ten years younger than me. While we share much in common, the age difference comes up, especially with something like Duran. I remember playing the video for Planet Earth in my classroom when the most recent anniversary of the song came up. This friend came in and said, “I wasn’t even born then.” Oh boy. That’s great. Anyway, the first Duran songs she heard were, in fact, ones off of the Wedding Album, which makes sense based on her age. To her, this is Duran Duran. After all, this was her first exposure to the band. The brain put the sound of the Wedding Album as the default Duran Duran sound. That isn’t necessarily bad but explains why she doesn’t see the big deal out of the Rio era, for example. She doesn’t get it when I explain that most of the original Duranies turn to the first three albums as the default sound. After all, that was the first Duran Duran we heard. The Duran Duran we fell in love with.

Interestingly enough, the Wedding Era sound is her favorite despite me trying to expose her to other eras. She cannot connect in the same way that she did to Ordinary World and Come Undone. I, on the other hand, find myself seeking out a Rio like sound whether that is the Rio album itself or an album like All You Need Is Now. After all, that is the first Duran I heard. While I can appreciate the Wedding Album sound, it isn’t what typically comes to mind when I think Duran or when someone mentions the band. No, I think about that early 80s era.

So, in thinking about all of this, I have another question. If I wasn’t a kid in the 1980s and I didn’t hear that early Duran, would I have still become the Duranie that I am now? Would the Wedding Album instead be my go to sound if I was born ten years later or would I simply not be into the band? What about my friend? Would she have become a bigger fan if she was born ten years younger?

Then, I broaden this thinking. Was it just about the music? Did I become a fan just because I liked songs like Save a Prayer or New Moon on Monday? Or did it also have to do with everything else that was in place then? For example, I know that I heard Duran first before I ever saw them but what if MTV wasn’t a thing? What if they didn’t make videos? What about all of the media attention? I couldn’t escape seeing Duran Duran on the cover of multiple magazines when I went to the store. They couldn’t be avoided, really. If all that wasn’t enough, Duran Duran merchandise was everywhere. I had Duran Duran pajamas for crying out loud that I bought at my local box store. They were simply everywhere. So, did I become a fan because of the music, the other things or a combination of both?

One thing I always find interesting when talking with my friend is how little video played a role in her life. When talking about Ordinary World, she, in fact, stated, “Yeah, I think I saw the video once on VH1.” I had to take a deep breath after that. Well, then. This has led me to ask about other videos only to discover that she has never seen Hungry Like the Wolf with its exotic locale and missing Simon storyline. She must struggle to really understand why I am so into Duran and how that happened. After all, I do think the context matters, including all that media attention but also where I was, personally, coming from at the time that first heard and saw Duran.

As the conversation moved away from music, I couldn’t help but to think how lucky I was to grow up in the 1980s in order to experience all that I did with music and pop culture. It made me not only the fan I am now but also the person I am.

-A

Another YouTube Star

Today is a busy day. I had an appointment in the morning and then a meeting with Amanda. I leave for another appointment in a few minutes. Later, I’ll pack for a trip to SoCal with two of my kids (and we’re crashing at the apartment of the third).

I’m headed to Vidcon.

Those are words I never thought I’d be typing. So far in adulthood, I’ve learned that saying “never” almost insures the opposite happening. Going to Vidcon, with all of it’s teen influencer glory, is exactly the opposite of what I’d hoped this summer. Alas….

Looking for the real world

My youngest is 11. This year for her birthday, she begged for a ticket to Vidcon. This is basically a convention for YouTubers. I’m still struggling with the idea that my child watches YouTube like I would have watched television, or even music videos! Anybody ever heard of MTV??

As convention time has grown closer, I’ve considered the full enormity of what I agreed to do. The thought of wandering around a very crowded convention center, dealing with the tween+ crowd for four days…. Well, I’ve likely lost any good sense I had left, anyway. I look forward to bonding and trailing behind her – likely FAR behind her (she is, in fact, a tween!) this week. I’m also inwardly groaning a bit. I’ve caught myself thinking about how I was as a tween several times this week. While my girl seems to have idols that are creators (she loves animation), I was obviously into music. My parents had just as much interest in taking me to see Duran Duran, as I do Vidcon in some ways.

My plan is to really be on the lookout for obvious displays of fandom. I suspect I won’t have to look far. Also, Amanda and I have been tossing around an idea for a new writing project, and I’m curious to see how some of the themes we’ve discussed may manifest themselves. The fact is, pop culture in the day and age of YouTube is something that I haven’t had too much of an opportunity to study. I’m looking forward to seeing it in person. Is teenage fandom in 2019 all that different from what I experienced during the mid-1980s?

In this screen-lit room

The good news is that I’m not the only adult on this road trip. Her big brother has moved back home. As a veteran Blizzcon attendee, he had all sorts of thoughts and ideas for his little sister and her first “con”. Then a light bulb went on – I could just get another ticket and have the boy go along with us! After all, he’s been on YouTube since it’s infancy. While he might not spend as much time watching now as he once did, the kid knows his way around a convention. He understands the community far better than I do, and this seems like a great brother/sister bonding opportunity.

I’m lucky in this regard, because my son and youngest daughter are very close. He’s taught her, or tried to teach her, everything he knows about computers and gaming. While he tries to play it off as not caring too much about Vidcon, I have a feeling he’s going to enjoy being there.

My first concert was seeing Power Station at Irvine Meadows in 1985. My cousin and I couldn’t go alone, so somehow her older brother was put in charge and had to go along with us. I suspect that whatever adult made that decision probably thought that it would be good bonding for us too. All I remember about any bonding going on was being told to “stop screaming like a girl and sit down”. Sit down? At a concert???

If we can stay awake

So tomorrow is the day. We will leave early in the morning, and I would imagine it’s going to feel like the longest day ever. However, I’m sure the littlest Rivera (who isn’t really that little anymore) will have a great time. Me? Oh, I’m going to find the Parent Lounge and park myself for at least part of the time – and I’m sure I’ll be tweeting and trying to find some sort of smart commentary to make with regard to fandom!

-R

Carry the Fight

The other day my writing partner shared her childhood story on here about how and where Duran Duran fit in to her story and her coolness factor. She described how liking Duran is the closest she ever got to not being a nerd. If you haven’t read the blog post, you can here. I highly recommend it.

One of the best parts of sharing a blog with someone else is that I can get inspired by what my writing partner has written about like this particular blog. While I didn’t have a chance to read each and every response to her blog, when I glanced, it definitely seemed like the post resonated with others. I saw people share about how they had similar experiences or about how hearing Duran Duran changed their lives. It got me thinking. Did hearing Duran Duran change my life? Did becoming a Duranie make me cool or less uncool? Hmm…I’m not sure that I would say that. Then, last night I went to book club. We discussed a book that I didn’t read but had the message of making the best out of a bad situation and how there is honor in that. My fellow book clubbers also expressed admiration for that. I couldn’t do that as I wouldn’t just accept the bad situation. Then, when I thought about that message and my experience with Duran Duran, I finally got how Duran Duran shaped me.

As I am sure that I mentioned here before, my childhood was split in two. The first half of my life was spent in the south suburbs of Chicago while the second half was an hour or so away in a small town. While the distance between the two locations wasn’t all that big, it might as well have been two different planets as the two areas could not have been more different. The suburb featured a world of popular culture as Chicago radio was readily available and MTV premiered there pretty soon after it came out while the small town lacked any sort of popular radio and MTV didn’t come until the early 90s. They were night and day. The suburb was a fairly diverse place while the small town was as white as they come. I loved being close to Chicago and venturing into the city on a regular basis for school field trips and frequent White Sox games and hated the closed-mindedness that too many had in the small town.

The adult in me can now look at my perceptions of the two places and understand why I might feel as I do. Even though, I loved my suburban life, I wouldn’t describe it as a utopia. It certainly wasn’t perfect. At school, I was not well-liked starting right away in my half-day kindergarten where I met my best friend. For some reason that I never understood, I was not allowed on my school’s jungle gym until my best friend told others that I could come. Yes, I remember that at five. First grade wasn’t that much better at school as I became the number one target by a school bully. I don’t remember much about how that kid treated me but it was something about how I played. Too imaginative or something? Yet, I could survive that because I had a best friend. While she was no longer in my class, we still saw each other frequently despite not being in the same neighborhood. We always had such a great time together whether it was creating a fake store in my family’s basement or playing with her dog.

My best friend and I discovered Duran Duran together as we would often have B96 radio on while we played. Then, when MTV began, we found ourselves glued to the TV. I cannot remember who mentioned Duran Duran first or when or even why. I’m pretty certain that the first songs we heard the ones off of Rio but I couldn’t be certain. I have a very distinct memory of hearing New Moon on Monday one night when I spent the night at my friend’s. Did Duran Duran make me more cool? No. It brought my friendship closer as we shared the love for the band and soon began drooling over John Taylor together.

How did my Duranieness work at school? Did it me become more popular at school? Not really. I still wasn’t liked by the school bully. At lunch, though, when I avoided teasing, I sat across from some boys who loved to talk about music. Of course, in this era, Michael Jackson was king. My classmates certainly believed that Michael was the best ever and that Duran Duran was so uncool. Yes, that’s right. My classmates hated Duran. At the time, I had no idea why. Looking back, I’m sure that they felt that Duran got too much attention and that Michael and other African-American artists weren’t getting enough. Now, I get it. How did I respond to this debate? Oh, I would argue each and every day. I wanted to prove that Duran was the best and, yes, I pointed to their popularity as evidence. My classmates weren’t buying it but I never gave up.

My defiant attitude followed me to my new small town home in 1985. My new surroundings didn’t love Duran Duran either. Many of the kids in this town didn’t even know who Duran Duran was due to the lack of radio, MTV, etc. Later, as MTV showed up and more options for music came around, the kids in my little small town did not embrace Duran Duran or anything like that. No, most turned to more heavy metal and hard rock options. Duran Duran was completely unacceptable. After all, they seemed “too gay” for many of them. (See what I mean about closed-mindedness.) No, they only liked bands with “real men” that seemed to treat women like sexual objects. I could never buy into that as I held onto my love for Duran despite being so unpopular.

I’m sure that my Duranieness did not win me many favors or any friends. How did this small town treat me? Rhonda mentioned that she was never quite the person who ended up in trash cans. Well, I didn’t either but I did have rocks thrown at me as I walked home from the bus on a frequent basis. Why was I target? Does anyone really know? I am sure that I was different from having a more “Chicago” attitude and perspective when I arrived. Then, I was a religious minority that I didn’t hide. Looking back, my love for Duran was just another feature of who I was that made me weird. I don’t think it made me a target but it didn’t help me fit in either. Maybe I should have tried to change or fit in but I didn’t.

The book club discussion the other night made it seem like the only admirable way to approach a crappy situation is to make the best of it. I don’t buy that. I don’t believe that and never did. Some people decide to go with a bad situation and try to make the most to it. That is not a wrong or bad way to go. It just wasn’t and isn’t for me. I’m more of a fighter, someone who refuses to change to meet others’ expectations. I don’t like to accept bad situations and don’t try to adapt. Instead, I fight to end the situation. Now, I can see that my Duran fandom has always been a part of this defiance. I never changed and never walked away from Duran even if it would have made my life easier.

-A

Happy 37th Anniversary MTV!

Can you believe that MTV launched on this date in 1981—a mere 37 years ago???

I kept going back and redoing the math on that, because it just doesn’t seem possible. I can’t remember exactly when MTV arrived at my house. I know we had cable at some point, and I remember watching MTV for hours and hours. I just don’t know when we finally got it, although I’m sure it was before Live Aid in 1985.  What I do remember is that my friend Marsha had it as soon as it became available to residents in Covina, California.  I began spending many hours of my day planted in front of her TV as a result. (Thanks Mrs. W!!)

My musical tastes were formed by two things: playing clarinet, and MTV.  As a clarinet student, I learned far more about classical music than I ever thought possible. In the years before MTV, I knew more about classical composers than I did contemporary 1980’s-era artists on the radio. By then, I’d cultivated a deep appreciation for  Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, and Mozart, along with many others. That list is long, my friends. Benny Goodman was and still is my hero and spirit animal, right alongside Pete Fountain and Artie Shaw.  On the other hand, I really didn’t know much about pop music. I discovered a local radio station – KROQ – before MTV came along, but once the videos got started, there was no stopping me. I relished every single video that came on the screen, along with juicy bits of music news and background information that VJ’s such as Martha Quinn and JJ Jackson diligently doled out in between.

I cut my New Wave and Alternative teeth on artists like Wall of Voodoo, Burning Sensations, The Motels, The Fixx, Visage, Soft Cell, Joy Division—I could go on and on and on, and you’d likely know every band and artist.

It blows my mind that this all began 37 years ago. Can it really be possible? Sadly, I know it is. Life goes by in the blink of an eye.

I wouldn’t mind sitting down in front of the TV to watch an MTV video marathon direct from 1981, even if only for a day. It is a shame we can’t step back in time, for even just one moment. The innocence of youth, hope for what the future might hold, and seemingly limitless energy all seem very appealing right now.

Yep, I’d take a little more of all that today.

-R

Time for Temptation

It is back to work for Amanda and I (and anyone else who works in education) for the school year, which is painful enough, but this year we’ve the added bonus of the band starting back on the road again for a few more dates.  I laugh a little ruefully because while I really do love my job, I love the band too – and Croatia looks lovely this time of year! Alas….

So this is the annual announcement that from now until June, half of my blogs will be written ahead of time, meaning that every now and then, I may miss a worthy news item due to timing. Please be patient. Also, if there is no news, there may be days where there is no blog. We do our best to make this a rarity, but it does happen.

Coming up in September, our little blog turns SEVEN.  Can you believe we’ve been doing this for seven years now? We are going to celebrate this moment by looking back at our blog a bit, but in the meantime, I’m just going to sit back and marvel a teensy bit. I can’t speak for Amanda, but aside from motherhood and marriage – I don’t think I’ve ever held one job for that long!  The good news is that we plan to keep going. Our mantra is that we’re not done yet, so the band had better keep going too!

I’ll leave you with one final thought.  On this date in 2003, Duran Duran received the MTV Lifetime Achievement Award. Instead of showing the clip of them getting the award (which I post every year), I found a clip of the backstage interview after it was presented by Justin Timberlake.

Can you believe this was fourteen years ago?? Time goes by so fast now. I hate to blink in case I miss something!

Makes me wonder what the next fourteen will bring.

-R

Show Me My Youth

Yesterday, I found myself in a coffee shop with my former student teacher and a couple of students of mine.  As we sat, chatting, I found myself commenting on the songs being played as they were mostly songs from the 80s.  One of my students asked me how come I knew all the songs.  She assumed that I was someone with a beyond normal amount of knowledge about music.  I explained that I am nothing special and probably a ton of people my age could name the songs, too.

This statement, of course, led to more questions about why that would be the case.  I explained that in my generation we did not the options to pick and choose our music very much.  We had radio, video shows like Friday Night Videos and MTV.  In order to hear our favorite songs, we just had to tune in to one of those and wait.  This meant that we listened to a lot of songs/artists that we did not necessarily like but it also meant that our generation has a more unified cultural experience surrounding music.  We learned all of the songs being played at the time because we were a captive audience.  I explained to the kids that while this sounds terrible, it really wasn’t.  The music gave us something in common–a frame of reference, something to always talk about.  Now, as an adult, I feel like it unites me with others around my age.

As I left the coffee shop, I started to think about what my music would have been like if I had the choices to pick and choose the way kids today do.  Some people could just hear music right away and decide if they like it within seconds.  I have decided that I’m just not that way.  I need to hear songs a bunch before I really know whether or not I like it.  Then, of course, once I do decide that a song is fabulous–watch out because I will listen to it non-stop.  One example of this was Depeche Mode.  When I bought one of their albums as part of one of those Columbia House deals to buy 7 cassettes for a cent or whatever it was, I listened to it once and thought it was weird.  Too weird to listen to.  Then, I had a friend who talked about how cool Depeche was so I gave it a few more listens.  Soon enough, some of the songs got in my head.

Really, Duran Duran was no different even as a kid.  I probably heard a song like Save a Prayer at least twenty times before I got it in my head and decided it was fabulous.  It even took awhile before I would call myself a Duranie.  I liked a lot of their songs before I knew that I loved the band.  The same thing is true with new music of theirs that comes out today.  Sometimes, the first few listens don’t do it for me.  Whenever I try to respond too quickly, it doesn’t go well.  I think Rhonda would probably say the same.  This is one of the mistakes we made with the Paper Gods album.  We wanted to review the songs so badly, we forgot that we need time.  Now, in thinking about that conversation with my students, I have to wonder if the need for multiple listens is common among my generation.

My original belief that I am glad that I grew up when I did stands, at least when it comes to music.  While I am sure that there are a lot of songs and videos that I wished that I could have skipped to get to the next Duran track, I’m glad that I couldn’t.  I believed that I found a lot more songs and bands that way that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

-A

To be a fly on the wall at the Rum Runner

To be a fly on the wall…

On this date in 1986, there was a party. It was a demolition party, held at the Rum Runner in Birmingham. The first scene of the crime, so to speak.

There are plenty of things I am thankful for at this point in my life, trekking the streets in Birmingham among them. I’ve even wandered down around the Cheapside area, where Duran Duran spent time before getting their big break. One thing I couldn’t do was visit the Rum Runner. Sure, I could see where it had once been, but that’s not the same as having gone inside, really. It’s not the same as seeing the mirrored tiles for myself, or smelling (what I can only assume would be) stale cigarette smoke, or just knowing that once upon a time, a band named Duran Duran once occupied the building.

Nostalgic much? Of course! I love that stuff!

There are just times when I wish I could have been a fly on the wall, just to get a small taste of what it was like to see the austere beginnings of this band, prior to Girls on Film and Rio. But on this date especially, I can only wonder what that party was like.

Also on this date, but in 1999, Behind the Music with Duran Duran was first aired.  In my attempt to find the video on YouTube to post here, a few things became clear—namely that it would seem there was more than one version of this made (and even then, I’m really not sure).  In any case, I found one that is Behind the Music Remastered, dated in 2010. I’m assuming that this edition is updated to include the reunion, which would not have happened yet in 1999. In any case, take a gander and see what you think!

-R

Skin Trade, 1987 (and other deep cuts): Do You Remember?

So let’s get right down to it: on this date in 1987, Working for the Skin Trade debuted on MTV. Do you remember?

I know one person out there does for sure.  Patty Palazzo, owner of Punk Masters and one time assistant for someone named John Taylor, likely remembers this without much problem. A year or two ago (maybe even longer?) I interviewed Patty for Daily Duranie. During that interview, we talked about Skin Trade, or rather – her obsession for the song. I haven’t forgotten that little tidbit!

So, in honor of this special day, let’s watch the video!

 

I like the days in history where we have a song, single or video to celebrate – it gives me a chance to watch again. I’m not one of those people who will purposefully get out my collection of Duran videos (I don’t really have much of one) and watch them. There’s not enough time…which is why whenever I’m at Amanda’s house I basically overdose on Duran videos when I have the chance!

The thing is, there are a lot of other songs that I almost never think about because they aren’t singles or on setlists…and some of them don’t even have videos at all.  On Monday morning, DDHQ asked what should have been a simple question: what is your favorite “deep cut” by Duran Duran. Deep cut meant a song that wasn’t a single.

My first thoughts were Late Bar and Secret Oktober, as always. But..DOH!…those were both B sides ON singles. Do they count? I’m always afraid of posting an answer and then realizing that I didn’t answer the question correctly. The last thing I want or need are 50 other fans telling me that I didn’t answer right (and yes, there are always some that take a certain amount of glee in setting someone straight). So I checked out some of the other replies before posting. I decided that no, I probably shouldn’t post those two songs because while technically they weren’t singles, they were B-sides and not even on the albums. sigh So what to choose?

My brain went blank. Amazingly, peacefully, blank. I might not have even been able to remember my name at that point. Seriously. What in the hell was (is…I mean IS) wrong with me?  So, I went album by album in my head. What was on the first album? I thought of those songs. Nothing really jumped out at me. Went on to Rio – what was on there? That’s when I came upon Hold Back the Rain. Always did like that one. Almost never hear it live. Hmm. Then I thought about other albums. Notorious was never one of my big faves (sorry). Big Thing was fine – shoot, now as I’m writing, I’m thinking I should have probably picked Land or Palomino. Wait, are those singles? (No, no they weren’t. I’m an idiot and need a brain transplant.)

So…I could have done that all day, as it turns out. I settled on Hold Back the Rain rather quickly because of two reasons: A. it is a good song and one I really like. B. I was trying to hurry.  But, I did think about Paper Gods. One of my most favorite songs off of that album is a pretty deep cut that you don’t even get unless you buy one of the exclusive versions – Planet Roaring.  That’s another one that I would probably give my eye teeth to hear live. (well, maybe NOT my eye teeth. I’d look strange without them. How about a molar??) The big fan in me wishes they’d play it live. It’s anthemic, it’s easy to sing along with them, and it would get the crowd going…or at least the crowd in the first three or four rows. sigh.  I hate it when my brain knows something my heart wishes to completely disregard.

So, go on then…what’s your favorite deep cut?  No pressure…we’ve got time…answer in the comments!

-R