Tag Archives: Music

World in My Eyes by Richard Blade

I haven’t given a book recommendation in a long time, but I’m about to offer up a good one!  As most know, I grew up in Southern California, probably about an hour from where I live now. If you really want to look it up on a map, the name of the town is Glendora. I lived in the far-less-than-wealthy, southerly section of the town.

At some point during the summer between fifth and sixthgrades for me (1981), I discovered KROQ 106.7. I don’t really remember much about how that happened, except that it might have been my friend Kristy who kind of led the way.

I had an old clock radio in my bedroom starting in fifth grade.  When I got it, I had no idea about radio stations – so I just turned the dial until I found one that came in clearly playing music. Nearly every morning I’d be woken up hearing “My Sharona” by the Knack. I still twitch funny when that song comes on the radio! Even so, I left the radio untouched because I had so much trouble finding a station that came in, let alone one with music I recognized.

During that summer between fifth and sixth grades though, I started becoming more interested in music.  I asked my friends, and Kristy piped up with “Listen to K-West!”  I didn’t know what K-West was, but I figured she’d know, and so when I went home, I fiddled with my clock radio, adjusting it to the 106-area. It was so hard to fix the dial to get something to actually come in, back then. Move the knob a teensy bit too much and it would be static or you’d not get the button exactly on the right station. It would appear to be on 106, for example, but it would actually be 105 or even 107-something. Annoying.

On that day, something did come in, and it was music I really liked. I had no idea what it was, but I stuck with it. I carefully placed the radio back on my dresser and didn’t touch it, assuming I was on K-West, and that Kristy was right. I never listened for that long, just when I was waking up in the morning. At that point, I wasn’t spending a lot of time in my room listening to music yet. I must have had that clock radio set to that station for a good year before I realized what channel it was. Richard started working at KROQ in 1982, and it is just about that time when I remember hearing his voice on the air. My memory might be a bit faded and mixed up (I’ll admit having to come back and edit this post well after I first wrote it!), but I can remember Richard giving out the call sign for the station like it was yesterday!

From that time on, Richard Blade was a constant part of my life. I listened to him nearly every morning, and he had everything to do with helping me shape my musical tastes. If radio weren’t enough, I watched him on MV3 which became Video One, and later on, once I was 18, if he guest DJ’ed at clubs in Los Angeles, I went. (The Palace in Hollywood, and Fashions on the Redondo Beach Pier to name a couple!)

Most readers might also know that I hold Richard Blade responsible for me meeting my husband. Richard was a near-constant figure at Fashions for years. On his fifth anniversary, I went to the club and met Walt. Sometimes I want to thank Richard for that, and other times—well, being married has its challenges, doesn’t it?! Even so, I have a beautiful family, and my children might not be here had it not been for Richard Blade, which is wild when I think about it! I don’t know that I would have ever known Duran Duran beyond being an obscure band from the UK, and I definitely wouldn’t have had my eyes opened to alternative music. Who knew a DJ could subtly influence the direction of my life?

Since those days, I guess I’ve followed Richard.  If he’s DJ’ing somewhere, Walt and I try to go whenever we’re able. He plays the music my husband and I listen to, and the weirdest thing happens when we are dancing (and yes, he and I LOVE to dance. It is what brought us together to begin with). I forget about the tough stuff, and we both get transported back to those beginning days downstairs at Fashions. It is like we remember what is really important, and get back to the basics if only for a few hours. Those hours have somehow saved our relationship over the nearly twenty-six years we’ve been together! We’ve had the opportunity to meet Richard a few times, have had a photo or two with him, and now my friend Steven works with him quite often, which is really cool to see.

When Richard announced his autobiography, World In My Eyes, I was excited to get my hands on it. Richard markets the book by saying that we’ll read about the bands we all know – including Duran Duran – but the truth is, at least for me, I wanted to read his story. It’s not his knowing Duran Duran or Depeche Mode that makes the book interesting – although for many, I understand it’s a true selling point. I haven’t even downloaded his interviews with some of the bands I know, I’ve been too busy reading! I’m not even halfway through it yet and I can honestly say – the man has LIVED. It is no wonder why he’s so successful, or why he’s been a constant source of inspiration and learning to me personally. He has had a life well-lived.

The book is outstanding so far, and I have just barely gotten to the point where he moves to California. It is easy to fangirl Richard Blade, and I don’t want to seem too gushy. To many in my generation, he is (in a very vague sense) our Dick Clark. We can leave American Top 40 to Ryan Seacrest—we don’t need him. But Richard Blade? He taught me nearly everything I know about New Wave and 80’s music. He’s open, honest, and cares about people and living things. He has no problem arguing his feelings and concerns, and while I might not always agree, I fully respect him.

Richard is the real deal, and I want to congratulate him on such a wonderfully written representation of his life. I know the diligence required with writing a manuscript, much less an autobiography. It isn’t enough to just want to do it, you have to want to do it more than anything. Richard wrote every single word, no ghost-writers involved, which is rare!

I have no problem highly recommending World in My Eyes. As I said, I haven’t even gotten halfway through it, and I would easily put this on the same shelf with Mad World. We are so lucky to have books about our music and the people who influenced us. I hope everyone grabs a copy. With the holidays coming, I think it would make a great present for anyone who loves music, Duran Duran and New Wave/80s alternative, or knows of Richard Blade! At over 500 pages, it’s the best $20 I’ve spent in a long time.

(And no, I wasn’t asked to write about his book, and I’m certainly not being paid to do so – this is all straight from me)

I can’t wait to get back to reading – so I’ve got to wrap this up for now.

-R

*edited because as I could have predicted this morning when I first wrote it – I got the dates all wrong. 🙂

The Power of Music to Connect and Heal

I am a sucker for heartwarming stories. I believe in the healing power of music, and I know firsthand how much I treasure my fandom. So, when I stumbled across a beautiful story featuring all of those elements, how could I not share?

This story shared with me on Facebook because my friends know I’m always on the lookout for good stories about fandom. In a world filled with near-constant negativity (and election sound bytes, which these days are always negative) – I need the occasional pick-me-up to remind me that the world isn’t all bad.  I would imagine our readers feel the same. Daily Duranie is all about “the good stuff”.  Fandom, for that matter, is the happy place!

So, before I go much farther – here’s the link to the story.  While you read, I’ll be sitting here with my coffee.

First of all, I realize this isn’t a story about Duran Duran. That said, I think every one of us has something to gain from reading. Music heals. I’ve said those words over and over again. This story is just further proof.  The power of music is undeniable. It brings people together, it fights evil, and when many of us cannot get past our differences—it is music that can bridge the gap.

It wasn’t so much that Bruce did anything special. After all, they went to a book signing and spent the same amount of time with him as anyone else. This isn’t really a story about the artist as it is about the family and their journey.  But when you think about it, out of all the music they could have played for their daughter while she spent those six months in the hospital, they played Bruce Springsteen. Tom, Juniper’s dad, was what I would consider to be a pretty hard-core fan.  They mention that he followed Bruce on tour for forty years. It was second nature to play the music that likely comforts him for his daughter. I would like to think that I would have done the same, as would likely many of you.

We all know the music that connects with our heart, whether that is Springsteen, Duran Duran, or something else entirely.  When we take the time to share that with our children, we are giving them part of ourselves. I have no doubt that my kids will always equate Duran Duran with me, long after I leave this planet.  While yes, some days that might be a curse (!!), on other days – it is a gift.  In the case of Juniper and her family, that music not only connected her and her parents when she was so fragile should couldn’t be held, it also healed.

I can’t think of anything else more beautiful than that. This is why music is so powerful.

-R

 

 

 

Oh, It’ll Take A Little Time

So, it’s Thursday evening and I’m just now blogging. Yeah, there’s a good reason for that—it was my first day at work.

The good news is that it was fun, the day went by quickly, and I’m still employed. The bad news is that I’m completely overwhelmed, I have a lot to learn, and dinner seems to be up in the air for tonight. Sorry, family.

It has been twenty years since I last worked outside of my house. Never once during that twenty years did I feel as though I was falling behind, until today. Funny thing—I was always one of those women who laughed as I would hear or read tales of women who would return back to work after being at home for many years. I mean, how much can you possibly forget? It reminded me of the kind of thing TV sitcoms would over-dramatically exploit for an episode.

I stand corrected.

I haven’t spent the past twenty years in a hole. I may not have earned a steady salary, but I definitely worked. I have two college degrees along with a professional certificate. I’ve been an Area Coordinator for an international organization. I planned two silent auctions for a non-profit group. I’ve been a Girl Scout Troop Leader (don’t laugh – by far the hardest job I’ve had!), and then there’s this blog and website. I thought I’d kept up a decent pace over the years.

Wrong.

When I last earned a salary, I had to use a time-card to keep track of my hours. In fact, I’ve always had one because I’ve never had a salaried position, but the point is—I’ve always written my hours out by hand. Even as an office manager in staffing, everything I did was written by hand. The last time I was employed, one would be lucky if their company had a mainframe (now THERE’S an old word for you) to use. In my case, it would have been used for employment applications, and then maybe I could search for certain skills. It was basic, and only one of the companies I worked at had one. We all had phones at our desk, but very few of us had computers, and by computers I mean those old CRT’s that took up half of the workspace on a desk! Today, I was on the phone for half the day trying to get my stupid sign-in to work in order to clock in and out, and at some point while the IT guy and I wrestled with the time and labor functions, I realized just how much I’d missed and how far behind I’d really been left.

Sure, I’m thankful I’ve been at home with my kids. I have thoroughly appreciated and enjoyed that time. I’m very defensive about being a stay-at-home mom for a variety of reasons, but I’m proud that I made the right choice for my family. I have family members that have spent the past twenty years trying to put me in a box, assuming that since I didn’t take a job I must be stupid, and let me tell you my friends, that has been a very bitter and painful pill to swallow. I’ve spent a lot of time fighting back tears at family gatherings, I’ll say that much. And even so, I will go to my grave saying that staying home was the right thing to do. On the other hand, my gosh—when I last worked we didn’t even have laptops. Thinking about everything that has changed since I last set my alarm to get up and get ready for work psyched me out a bit today, I’ll admit. There were a few technical challenges as well, one of which being that I’m a diehard Mac-user and I had to work using my boss’s Windows computer. I managed, sort of.

As I sat with my boss’s cell phone on speaker this afternoon, waiting for Mr. IT Man to make it possible for me to account for my time in the coming weeks, I realized that as overwhelming as it might be—I’ll figure this out. I’ll keep trying things until something clicks, and eventually this new job will feel like an old one. And really, isn’t that similar to what Duran Duran has gone through during their career?

Sure, they’ve continued to record through the decades, but they constantly adapted with each new album, and not just through music. Every time they went back into the studio, the circumstances changed. They’ve lost members. Gained members. The world has evolved, and the industry has been turned on its head. Even if they were on solid ground with their music, everything else around them continued to turn. Talk about being on a roundabout! When I think about everything that has changed since 1981, especially considering my experience today, my head spins.

No, I haven’t always embraced everything the band has done. There’ve been times when I’ve wondered why they didn’t zig when they zagged. Fans question nearly every single thing they do, second and third guessing anything from the release date of a video to their setlist. I’ve been a party to plenty of that, myself, right here on this blog. Wonder we haven’t driven them crazy….

The bottom line, at least for me, is that Duran Duran keeps going. They are cruising through their fourth decade, and they’re not letting little things like time or progress stop them.

Neither will I. Just as soon as I work up the energy to get off of this couch.

 

-R

 

None of the Above: Fan Categories

Manuela is one of our most ardent Daily Duranie supporters and is from Italy. For her guest blog, she is expanding upon an idea Amanda originally presented here on Daily Duranie regarding different categories of fans. (this idea originally comes from Amanda’s brother, Matthew Pustz, who is a college professor and expert on comic book fandom!) 

Manuela’s views here are slightly different from the ones we’ve previously presented.  That’s OK – we like different, and we all have our own points of view, which we certainly welcome here.  Enjoy!  -R

Thanks for blogging, Manuela!

 

-by Manuela Salvade

I am a long-time music fan. I have encountered, and I had the chance to become friend with many others so far. For fun or as a game,  I am going to narrow down a list of the fan categories and describe the people I’ve met along the way. In the end, I will also tell you where I believe I fit in.

The hard-die fans

They are usually longtime fans and they are what the music stars call the “fan base”. They are particularly loyal and supportive. Sometimes, their support and points of view are so strong that it’s hard to have a dialogue with them on any different view of the topics you are speaking of.  These fans have a strong “ego”, which sometimes makes them seem as sort of “Guardians of the Flame” of everyone’s passion and which is sometimes not necessary! You can be sure that if any other music fan tries to bother you, these fans immediately come to your help and defend you from those “bullies”. The hard-die fans are usually awesome administrators of Pages, Groups, Fans Communities, so on… on the social sites. They are usually a type of conduit between the music stars and the fans, even if they themselves do not know the band personally or work for the management.

The loyal fans

They are also hard-die fans, but the difference with the above category of fans is that they can come at any point during their music heroes’ career. They are lovely, mostly open-minded people. They love whatever their fave music star releases. The beauty of being with them is that you can chat with them, unless you hurt them or you are rude. The key term of their fandom is “freedom”: they want to be free to love, free to say their opinions, they want to be free to pick up the friends they need and they want to feel free to even criticize fans and heroes when necessary!

The “regulars”

The fans who participate in this group seem to be relatively young  because you can see them mostly on the internet. These fans have like a regular schedule they follow, in order to post on message boards, FB, Twitter accounts, so on, only on certain days during the week, or only during a certain time during the days… You can have a chat, you can be their friend, but your conversation can happen only during the regulars’ schedule. They are not rude people, as they don’t want to avoid being with the rest of the fandom: it’s just not possible to them to always be on the computer all day. Their schedule is given by family reasons, by their job reasons, by technical reasons,… They can belong to any of the other fans’ groups I mentioned here and they do love their music star. The celebrities appreciate their posts, and they are grateful for their presence. Other parts of the fandom might get irritated to see them posting, and a few fans might even see them as “stalkers”.

The one-album fans

They are amazing fans, but you can meet them on few occasions: it depends on the quality of the new release. Nothing can guarantee you that they become hard-die fans, because basically they love only one thing at that moment. Nothing can guarantee you that you can have together a conversation on many topics regarding your fave stars, as they are one-time music lovers.

Who do I think I am? I think I am a (lovely) loyal and regular fan. I am a regular for family and job reasons: I can “appear” only because my private schedule allows me to. I am aware it is a bit frustrating for others who care to interact with me online, but for now, it is the best I can do. I was blocked by fans on Twitter, I guess because I expressed too much love and that is bad. I was followed for some tim  by more than one idols of mine and that was very kind of them.

Do you have other “social” categories” you’d love to add to my list?

 

Manuela picManuela is a long time Duran fan and of pop rock music from the 70s right thru today. She is a public employee at the Milan Town Hall, for a Bureau that provides with a service of help, advice, moderation and support, but no PR, to all organizers of small and big events in her town: EXPO 2015, she is behind the scenes of Fashion Weeks, of MTV and other live concerts, big sport events like Champions League, NBA. She is also a loyal, kind and loving friend and partner.

I’ll hold on to the memories

Funny thing while writing this post earlier…I had just finished this 800-word blog and saw that I needed to delete one single word. I navigated to the word, hit “delete”, and the cursor moved, deleting each letter. Then it kept going. No matter what key I hit or how much I screamed (because you know that I was), the cursor kept going. 700 words later, I finally got it to stop. Well, that’s lovely.

I really don’t know what I hit, but it was user-error of epic proportion. So, I did what any human on a time-constraint might. I said several four-letter words, and slammed my laptop shut. So here I am, back for round two!!


Real life has been “challenging” as of late for me.  As those tests mixed with a few frustrations surrounding getting tickets for shows, I’ve found myself starting to think more and more about selling the tickets I had (or asking Amanda to sell them) and just not doing any shows next year.  Too expensive, too stressful, too unfair, and real-life problems are not sorting themselves out fast enough for me. So off and on I’ve considered that perhaps it is time for me to sit this one out.

This thought was in my head quite a bit over the weekend and truthfully I’m still not sure what I need to do. I am hoping that by not doing anything right now and just letting it all sort of “stew” during the winter holidays, perhaps after the first of the year the right answers will come. Like anything, it’s complicated.

As these thoughts were floating around in my head, I went about my business until I came across a quote posted on Anna Ross’ FB page.

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I stopped and read the quote, and then really thought about it. Oddly, I haven’t been listening to a lot of music lately.  Even when driving back and forth to take my kids to school – I’ve kept the radio off and driven in silence. (I needed peace) Even so, the quote hits home with me. It isn’t just about hearing the music, although sometimes the music is great. It’s the memories.

No matter how many times I’ve heard some songs live – new memories seem to be made each time.  One example I can give, and I tend to hesitate greatly with this one, is “Hungry Like the Wolf” (cue groaning). I was so sick of hearing that one live…until the All You Need is Now tour when Dom and John started coming to the front of stage to taunt…..err “play”…..part of it. I almost look forward to it in the set list now! “Save a Prayer” is another good example. I have seen it played many times and while I’ve always liked it, my memories of the song were mainly hearing Simon ask us to light up our mobile phones, that is, until the last time I saw it played at Agua Caliente. When I think about the song now, I think of driving all the way to Berkeley, back to Palm Springs, and then to my house. 1000 miles gives you a lot of time to think, rethink and overthink the simplest of things.  I remember Amanda reading me texts from friends while I was driving late at night, or walking to dinner and navigating uneven sidewalks in Berkeley while reading and answering email. “Wild Boys” takes me to the morning after the Agua Caliente show when  I drove like a crazy person from Palm Springs to LAX in order for Amanda to make her flight. It rained most of the way – which is pretty unheard of during October in So Cal – and that didn’t help me make-up time. “Pressure Off” makes me think of a party, complete with confetti cannons – which is a perfect description of the last tour in many respects.  I can’t really even think of “White Lines” without laughing at the memory of me ducking down behind a friend as Simon did his infamous water trick.  Farther back in my mind, I think of listening to John’s “Fields of Eden” as Amanda and I traveled in the UK by train, and “Secret Oktober” will forever remind me of being in Brighton – making it to that first UK show ever for me – and having the band break that one out.

The music would not be the same without the memories of people, places and things attached. The thoughts of those people, the places I’ve gone to see them, and the things I’ve done with them make me smile, even through some of the more painful portions of life.

I might not have all of the answers, but when I think about all of the fantastic memories I have from over the years I’ve seen Duran Duran – and all of the people I count as friends as a result, I don’t know how I could even think of missing shows next year. We will see.

-R

The Dark Side of Social Media

Seriously, did he really just answer me?

I write about social media quite a bit. I’m continually astounded by its existence and the changes it has made for the entertainment industry as a whole. I remember the first time I realized that not only could I passively follow bands like Duran Duran, but I could interact with them. I would post responses to things they’d tweet whenever I felt like it, and figured that was as far as it would go, but it felt good to be able to say my piece. I remember being so puzzled when John Taylor actually responded to me for the first time, as I sat thinking to myself, seriously, did he really ANSWER me?? I mean let’s face it, I vibrated like a tuning fork at the idea that a member of Duran Duran actually noted my existence on this planet, my excitement was off the charts. Then it became a sort of challenge. I upped the ante for myself.  He answered me once, will he ever answer again??  Never MIND how I felt when other band members, or “not quite” band members answered, or still answer me. I don’t think it’s gotten old with me yet – even if they don’t necessarily talk TO you, just seeing them tweet and communicate remains exciting.  The possibility for interaction, the possibility that they might see or read tweets and/or Facebook posts makes it interesting.

Yes, I really AM <insert band member name here>.

Things have changed since the first days of social media. Does anyone remember My Space? I remember the platform well, as I handled the My Space account for a delightful little start-up band named Clear Static. That’s right, not only did I answer their mail, I interacted with fans. I answered fans as someone from Clear Static might answer them, because well, somebody had to do it. Let’s just say that the band was ready to be famous far before their music gave them the right to call themselves stars. They toured with Duran Duran, they gained attention and notoriety from Duran fans, and thought they had made the big time. They soon found out that being rock stars meant communicating with fans far more often than they wanted or felt was needed, so they hired me. I kept the enthusiasm going, put out the PR fires as necessary, and lied to fans on a regular basis, telling them that “Yes, I really am <insert band member name here>.” Remembering back to those days on My Space sheds a little light on the darker side of social media.

The band/artist is as big of a product as their music.

My Space was the very beginning of a time we still live in where the band/artist is easily as big of a product as their music. Their image,  online presence and personality matter as much as the music they create.  For a band like Duran Duran, that’s quite a change from the days of video – where we fans could SEE them, but they never had to actually interact, and certainly not with so many of us at one time. Image has always mattered to Duran Duran, but perhaps not the personal interaction. We fans were kept at arm’s length for the most part, and to be fair – can we really blame them? I still picture the scenes from Sing Blue Silver where they are in the limo and the fans are banging on the windows outside the limo.  Yes, it is likely a good thing that social media didn’t exist in the 1980s.

The connectivity piece has become an expected facet – and you know this because I write of it often. Fans want to know who it is behind the music, and let’s face it – the band was pretty interactive during the release of All You Need is Now.  We still want more. Maybe we expect too much, but I assure you – it isn’t just Duran Duran fans.  Have you seen Taylor Swift’s Twitter or Instagram lately? Those millions of fans aren’t following her because she never shares, I can guarantee you that. Interaction is expected. A daunting reality for a band that spent their earliest years running from the lot of us, wouldn’t you say? This is a time when so many other things matter besides the music, and yet if I asked any of you why you’re Duran Duran fans – I don’t think it’s likely that any of you would answer that it is social media.  But yet, for new bands out there – I read over and over again every single day that social media is easily as important as the music. Maybe even more so.  According to Wolfgang Gartner, a DJ, artist, producer and label founder, “an artist with a vibrant, thriving social media profile and personality and ‘so-so’ music may have a better shot at getting signed or achieving success than the artist with no social media presence and amazing music. It means that I don’t actually know if that person in my Twitter timeline composed that tweet, or if it was written by an intern at a social media management company.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked how I “know” it’s really John, Simon, Roger, or even Dom that answers us. In reality? I have no idea. Wouldn’t we all like to believe we know their voices well enough to know the difference?? Even so, I have to trust it really is them talking to us on their individual accounts even though the strong possibility exists that they’ve hired social media people to do it all for them. Let us all hope we never find out otherwise.

Each piece is a pawn in the social media game.

The sales engine continues to run, according to Wolfgang Gartner. In an article written for the website Medium Gartner expands, “Artists are often contractually obligated to say specific things on their social networks as part of agreements or contracts; artists are often encouraged by their publicists or managers to be active on social media even if they don’t want to, because it helps sell records and tickets to shows; artists who are constantly on social media interacting with fans thrive, and are effectively helping sell their product.”

Each piece: the music, the image, the connectivity, the branding, the artist – is used as a pawn in the game of sales. A social game of sorts. Artists essentially must become the role they play online, and many don’t want to play the game at all. They’d prefer to be in the studio writing music; up on stage playing music, and leave the rest behind the velvet curtain, safe from view. Not all artists are social, not all artists are even that likable or personable, but in this day and age – one cannot afford to be antisocial.

Gartner goes even further to describe just how far some will go to use the social ladder to further their own game, “Some artists formed bonds with their musical idols, many contacts and collaborations were made, artists were able to give each other praise for their work, and everybody got to watch it happen in real-time. However, a darker side of this trend emerged: artists strategically interacting with other artists in attempts to boost their own careers. Of course musicians and entertainers have been doing this long before the internet, but social media took it to a new level.”

We’ve all seen this happening. Some of it is organic and beautiful, like when Nile Rodgers comments to a band member and they answer. I love that because I can see it happening right on my screen. For some reason, it makes me feel as though we’re all connected, and that it is all real. Conversely, there are the times when Duran Duran picks Pages of the Week that are purely just celebrities on Facebook, or favorites tweets from celebrities mentioning Duran Duran on Twitter. You know (and I know) it’s not “the band” actually doing that, and we ALL should recognize it is grossly fake. In some respects it is an attempt to put the band on equal level with those they respect and admire, and in others it feels just slightly smarmy. Part of the business? Probably. Does it really work? That’s a good question. Overall, it remains part of the social media game.

For Duran Duran, quality music is the end game.

In many ways, I must give proper admiration and respect to Duran Duran, because even with all of the extraneous details, the music continues to be central priority for the band. Yes, they care about their image, they delight in the visual, but the music matters. There is certainly a danger in getting caught up in the current of social media to the point where one forgets what really matters. Many an artist has allowed his/her social media fame to override the music – thus becoming more of an entertainer than musician. While I wouldn’t argue that social media is completely immaterial, I appreciate that the band knows that quality music is the end game. So I suppose I can forgive them for being largely absent for the past few years on social media, and delight in the few moments where they let me know I’m remembered in one way or another.

-R

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 25 Duran Duran Songs Part 1

This is it!!!!  Well, this is the first half of “it”!  Today is the day that I reveal part of the top Duran Duran songs (songs 25 to 11) as picked by us (the fans!).  First, let me thank each and every person that sent us a list!  Most said that it was hard, particularly to order the songs, but that they enjoyed it.  I know that it took me a long time to make my list as well as to compile the results (hence the lateness of today’s blog), but I think it was worth it!  Now, if you didn’t do it, but wish that you had, have no fear!  We plan on making this an annual event.  You can send your list next year!!!  Second, I wanted to clarify one point.  A lot of lists contained specifics like certain remixes or certain live versions of songs, which was cool.  I ended up adding those to the totals of the original song.  Otherwise, those songs/votes would have been lost in the shuffle!  Without making you all wait any longer, I now present the favorite Duran Duran songs 25 to 11.

25. Girl Panic

24.  Nice

23.  Wild Boys

22.  Sunrise

21.  Girls on Film

20.  Last Chance on the Stairway

19.  The Man Who Stole a Leopard

18.  Before the Rain

17.  The Reflex

16.  New Moon on Monday

15.  Lonely in Your Nightmare

14.  Rio

13.  Come Undone

12.  All You Need Is Now

11.  Late Bar

Next Saturday, we will reveal the top 10 Duran Duran songs!  After that, I will do a little analyzing about what songs were chosen and what that says about our fandom and our preferences!  Were you surprised by any on here so far?  Any predictions for what songs will make the Top 10 now that you have seen 11 through 25???  Come on, be brave!  Make some guesses!

-A

Reaching Out, Calling Out: Top 25 Song Reminder and Predictions

Next week is Valentine’s Day.  Normally, that is day that I dread and not for the reason you think.  As a middle school teacher, Valentine’s Day is a day filled with heightened emotions and drama.  Yet, this year, I have something to look forward to!  I get the final results for our fun Duranie homework!  That’s right, kids, you have one more week to get your list to me with your Top 25 Duran Duran songs!!!!  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can get all of the details and directions on how to participate here.  Basically, we will be compiling everyone’s favorite songs into a solid list of 25 based on the position of the songs in people’s lists.  We have gotten many, many lists so far but I would love to get lists from every single Duranie!  After all, the more lists we get, the more accurate the compiled list will be, statistically speaking!!!!

I have to say that I have found the results so incredibly fascinating.  As someone who studies things like groups of people and patterns of behavior, I can’t help but be interested in the patterns I have seen or the lack of patterns.  I had some predictions in my mind based on discussions we have had here or observations I have made throughout my tenure in the Duran fan community.  Some of my predictions have been proven true and others…not so much!  So, with a week to go, I figured it might be fun for all of you to make some predictions yourself about the results.  Then, you, too, can compare your ideas with the results and with what is shared about the results.

*How many different songs do you think made it on people’s lists?  (Obviously, not everyone is going to have the same songs as favorites, right?  So how many different songs were named by, at least, someone?)

*Are all the albums represented?

*Which albums are represented the most?  The least?

*Are the majority of songs on people’s lists hits?  Were they the singles?

*How many of the songs had videos to go with them?  Do the fact that they do or don’t seem to make a difference in people’s preferences?

*Are ballads more popular or are songs you can rock out to more popular?

*How many are cover songs?

*How many are b-sides?

*How many are demos that clearly should have made the album?

*How many were from the height of their popularity?  Their 1990s comeback?  Post reunion?

*Which songs do you assume with make the final 25?  (Which songs do you think are most popular in Duranland?)

*Which songs are played live all the time?

*Which songs should be played live from the list?

Perhaps, these questions don’t interest you.  What are you looking forward to finding out the most?  What didn’t I think of to analyze?  Ponder?  Seriously, if you have predictions for any of the questions above, I would love for you to comment here so that we can all compare later.  If you are anything like me, you will probably get some right and some…not so right.  Either way, it is okay as this is all in fun!  I can’t wait for the final results and for the predictions!!!  Each time we do something like this, I learn so much about our fan community!  I love it!

Speaking of learning about our fan community, if you haven’t already figured out by now, we have moved our “daily” question/poll/vote over here now.  There are a number of reasons for this.  First, I don’t have to count both on Facebook and twitter anymore and hope that I’m accurate in my counting.  Second, it eliminates the possibility of people trying to vote “both” or first one answer and then the other.  People have to choose as was intended.  Lastly, people can see the current results right after they vote!      I will always try to remember people on Facebook and Twitter when a new question/poll is up, but you can always look for it at the top of our home page as it will always be a “featured” blog!  No worries, we will still be asking a new question each and every day.  Now, if you have been following this series of questions (pictures of the band members!!!), you know that we have just completed Simon and have moved on to Roger.  Lots of people sent in Roger pictures so it will take awhile to get through him.  Then, we will move on to the rest.  If you are interested in  the order, you can read the original blog post about it here.   Just like the top 25, I hope everyone keeps voting daily as the more people who vote, the more accurate the results!

Now, fellow fans, make sure you are sending us your list of your Top 25 Duran Duran songs (b-sides, covers and demos are okay but no side or solo project songs) numbered in order by next Friday, February 14th!!!  You can send them via email at dailyduranie@gmail.com or through a private message on Facebook!    It may not be the easiest of assignments but it is fun!!!

-A

Interpretations of Dirty Great Monster

It has been a long time since I have taken a good long look at a song’s lyrics and tried to figure out what the heck it is about.  Now, when I started doing this, I asked people to give song suggestions.  I’m still moving through those original one, but am open to getting others.  One song that was mentioned was “Dirty Great Monster” off the Red Carpet Massacre album.  Now, this isn’t a song that has gotten much attention ever.  It wasn’t one of the songs Timbaland was involved with and it wasn’t a single.  It wasn’t played live except for those Broadway shows, in which the entire album was played.  I don’t have much of a connection with it, but I was super fortunate to see it on Broadway as they had the most amazing visuals for this song.  Frankly, I’m still sad that we won’t get to see those again as they were worth the price of admission, for sure.  I did find one clip that showed some of those visuals, but nothing beat seeing them in person.

So, what about the lyrics to this song?

There’s a dirty great monster in this house
We pretend that it’s not there
And there’s no escape from its grip
But nobody seems to care

Do you ever wonder
About the days when we were straight?
But daddy got the hunger
So much to hide, we learn to lie

So watch yourself in the hallway
You’re not supposed to know
‘Cause we’re all afraid of each other
We’re the victims in this show

Well, do you ever wonder
About the days when we were straight?
When daddy got the hunger
Too much to hide, we learn to lie

Silently outnumbered
We made mistakes when we were straight
Now we’re all going under
Oh, oh, so with a sigh we say goodbye

So, what does the song mean?  Interestingly enough, it was the topic of an Ask Katy question in July 2008.  Simon stated, “The truth is that “Dirty GREAT Monster” is about someone close to my extended family, I am really not at liberty to be any more specific than that.”  You can read the full question and answer here.  This leads everyone to assume that Simon is talking about family abuse, specifically, perhaps, sexual abuse of a father to a child with the line about “daddy got the hunger”.

While this domestic abuse, possible sexual abuse, theory is one that is often accepted, I have seen other interpretations.  One theory I saw was that it was about the situation with Andy.  Lines like how there is “no escape” and that you have “hide” and “lie” could imply a lot of situations, including the one with Andy, especially as things were not going well within the inner circle but the band had to publicly say that everything was great.  Thinking about it that way, could the song also be about the music business?  Could Daddy be the business?  Maybe, it is, more specifically, their record label at the time, hungry for the money from record sales.  Everyone sort of ignores the demands and how those demands make artists “lie” and “hide”.  Maybe, they even force bands to work with producers they don’t want to work with and make albums that they aren’t them.     The last verse is particularly interesting in light of this theory.  Could it be the band was outnumbered by the powers that be?  Could those mistakes have been past albums that were made with more independence but didn’t live up to anyone’s standards?  I can’t imagine that life in Duran camp was that great in 2007.  It could have felt like they were “going under”.  Say goodbye could be a reference to Andy.  It could also be about saying goodbye to a major label and those days of commercial success.  It could also be goodbye to artistic integrity.

Yes, this song is one of those songs that seems very obviously about something on the surface but could really be about something else.  What do you think?  Which theory makes the most sense or do you have a different theory?

-A

P.S. Do let me know if you have other songs you want me to look at!